Book Review: Holding Their Own

Joe Nobody exploded onto the survivalist scene in 2010 with his first book, an instruction guide titled, Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart.  That book became an instant success, catapulting Joe into the top tier of self-reliance writers.

By Jimmy C, a contributing author to

Karambit Knife

Who is Joe Nobody

(From Amazon) Joe Nobody has provided systems, consulting and training for the U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security, Office of Author Joe Nobody Holding a RifleNaval Research, United States Border Patrol as well as several private firms and government agencies which cannot be disclosed.
He is currently active in this area and for the security of his family and ongoing business, wishes to remain anonymous.

He has over 30 years of competitive shooting experience, including IPSC, NRA, and other related organizations. He has been a firearms instructor and consultant for over 30 years and holds the rights to a United States Patent for a firearms modification.

Joe initially became involved in helping private citizens “prepare” at the request of his students and clients. A conscientious instructor, he would always inquire as to why they wanted to learn certain skills or techniques and often the response was to prepare for more than just simple home invasion or self-defense. If you ask Joe what his greatest attribute is, he will tell you he is a “problem solver” and uses his formal education in Systems Engineering to this end.

A note from Joe Nobody – “As the economy worsens, world tensions rise, and the modern media propagates bad news faster than ever before, more and more people want to prepare. I wrote Holding Your Ground because it allows me to reach more of the good folks who are concerned about their security. I want them to sleep better at night knowing they have a plan of defense should the ‘Event’ ever occur.”

Holding Your Ground was unique in 2010, addressing an aspect of preparing that few, if any, had covered at that point – security in a grid down situation.  The first time I heard about the name Joe Nobody was when Captain Bart reviewed his book right here on SurvivalCache, (to read review: click here) Mr. Nobody’s follow-up book, Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival, was again pioneering.  Most writers stick to either fiction or non-fiction, but not this guy.  His second book was a full-length novel that combined a believable collapse scenario, two likable characters, and the various methods, skills and techniques outlined in that original instruction guide.

Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival was groundbreaking in many ways.  For starters, the author’s original vision was for a series of books, not a stand-alone novel like the prepping community had previously been presented.  You see, he had envisioned a long recovery process, fraught with a cascade of challenges, where the protagonists struggle to forge ahead due to a lack of resources and infrastructure.
Another aspect that had been relatively unexplored in prepper fiction was how a married couple would deal with a downfall. Holding Their Own stars Bishop and Terri, a 30ish couple who live in Houston, Texas.  Bishop works for an oil exploration company, providing security for the firm’s equipment and personnel in hostile locations. Terri is a bank teller.


The world is in the middle of the Second Great Depression, a situation that our country’s enemies simply can’t let pass.  They initiate a series of attacks that are some of the most frightening, creative, well thought-out actions I’ve ever read.  The United States, already severely hampered by economic hardship, collapses.  The grid goes down and a domino effect takes place.  In a matter of days, rule of law evaporates.
Bishop and Terri try to stay in the suburban Houston home, but it’s not working.  The army moves in, declares martial law and things continue to deteriorate.  They decide to bug out, a move that takes them on a journey across a post-apocalyptic Texas landscape.  Holding Their Own includes tons of prepper genius, tips and tricks. Bishop is creative, skilled, and sometimes just a little too lucky.  Terri, on the other hand, grows into a stronger character as the book progresses.

They encounter all kinds of plausible situations during the adventure, and it was fun to put myself in their shoes.  Joe has followed up with seven more Holding Their Own novels, almost a million words of adventure, according to the publisher.  The series has received over 1,000 Amazon reviews, with an average of 4.6 out of 5 stars approval rating.

But it all started with We’re Alive: A Story of Survival. These audio books contain foul language, often more than I felt was necessary. But in all fairness, I can’t imagine a more stressful situation than an apocalypse, and tempers probably would run hot in that situation.  Bishop, as I mentioned above, borders on being invincible at times. While I admit that the over-the-top action and adventure keeps the pace nice and fast, it is the only part of the book that seemed unrealistic.


The way things are going today with international commerce so interdependent on each nation and our “just in time” inventory systems; a second great depression is not a far reach in my mind.  I liked the idea of neighborhoods enlisting their occupants to help each other make a stand.  We are seeing this take place around the world from conflicts in Syria to Africa, and even in more modern societies such as Ukraine.  I also enjoyed the sections on bartering for different needs.  Again, we are seeing an active black markets develop outside of current world conflicts.  These markets are made up of mostly bartering for needed items.

Want to stock up?  Read our “Top 100 Items to Disappear” list.


Joe also includes an unusual “gallows humor” in his books that many readers may not appreciate. At first, I didn’t know what to make of some of the dialogue, but as I got deeper into the text, I finally realized Bishop’s cornball remarks were his way of burning stress. I’ve continued through the rest of the series, and I actually have grown to appreciate that character’s outlook.


Joe Nobody books do not come cheap. The ebook versions run almost $10.00. The paperbacks range from $11-$14 each. While they are full-length novels, that is still on the high side of Amazon ebooks these days.  But if you want a fast-paced, non-zombie series that includes great survivalist tips, it’s hard to beat Holding Their Own.

Photos by Prepper Press

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Holding Their Own”

  1. "Holding Your Ground" was the first book we ever published and "Holding Their Own" was the first fiction book we ever published. Joe Nobody has been going strong since. He has a strong reader base for a reason. Thank you for this review.

  2. For those that are still considering Joe Nobody's "Holding" books, take the dive!

    The plot throughout the story arc is great. Still waiting for the completion novels for the "Holding" series but the detail of action, character developments, and instruction balance very well and complement each other to the point that story/knowledge retention comes naturally. Also check out his stand alone survival novel "Apocalypse Drift". That one puts a unique spin on the post-SHTF survival genre that I don't see too often. There is also a very unique "how-to-fix-government-finance" solution toward the end of that novel I think many people will appreciate. He has another series, "The Olympus Device", that I'm going to start on as well. He's apparently also started another series titled "Secession". I've read the first of that series "Secession: The Storm" and was just as engaged with it as any of his other books.

    "Holding Your Ground" and "The Home Schooled Shootist" are great instructional reads as well. Those two are worth the money too. I am huge fan of "Joe" and his works. Give the "Holding" series a shot. You'll be one of Bishop and Terry's(main characters) biggest supporters in no time, especially when you see where the story takes them. The majority of the plot takes place in Texas; so, if you're a Texan like me, you'll appreciate the locations and references in the books. After reading the books, I even went to visit a couple of the small towns mentioned throughout the story for a little extra familiarity with the storyline(town names are changed in the book but easy to figure out). If you're not a native Texan, first, I'm sorry(kidding). Second, the series offers tremendous detail and engaging action sequences that help create the visual contradictions often seen in Texas.

    Ok, done with the rambling. Please, give the "Holding" series a try and also explore Joe Nobody's other offerings. I look forward to just about anything Joe publishes. Again, I'm a huge fan of his work and I think most, if not all, of the members will like it all as well.

    Hope this helps make up your minds.

  3. If TSHTF Texas will be interesting to say the least lines have been drawn it is just a matter of who starts the Bull rolling.
    If I can get there my place is sparse population and hard as a sack of hammers cattle ranchers.
    I like it very harsh country I doubt anyone would purposely go there and walk in would be very dificult.
    I like the Isolation I spend time there when I can.


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