Holding Their Own IV: The Ascent.
This book is a great read, and a fine addition to the 'Holding' series of books by Joe Nobody. It does several things:
1. Continues the story from Holding 3. I thought the author did a wonderful job of including clues and reminders of past events to get the reader up to speed. Like many others that follow Joe's books, I buy the kindle version as soon as it comes out and read it in under 24 hours. I appreciated the helpful reminders of what had happened at the end of Holding 3.
The story continues on, and builds character profiles for many of the townspeople from Meraton, Alpha, and Fort Bliss. The author includes numerous backstories, side plots and other details that make the atmosphere of the West Texas desert come to life. The author really showed his story telling abilities in this book, starting with the introduction. The book starts with extensive backstory on the main character, Bishop, into his forays in civilian contracting and overseas work. It covers the internal conflict of the fight for justice vs. the less risky existence in peace.
2. Holding Their Own IV includes much space for politics. It delves deep into the mindset of the Independents, as well as other groups. You get a glimpse into what mankind is capable of- both good and evil. Politics runs along the stories main point (survival, of course), in that it has large implications for the country.
3. This book includes useful educational tid-bits on weapon usage, perimeter security, team tactics, weapon usage, first aid and medical, electrical power generation, and transportation. I personally enjoyed the topic of economics, bartering, and establishing localized and organized currency equivalents. I look forward to any further development into the financial situation, especially the development of non fractional reserve banking and lending institutions, as well as potentially the structure of the US government. I would assume that Joe would include some of the solutions he put forth in his other book, Apocalypse Drift on debt and taxes. Very interesting stuff. Overall I would paint this book as more narrative than educational, but if you are paying attention you will see the golden nuggets of lessons learned and things you can use in your own preparations.
4. Without spoiling the book's ending... the author did a superb job of including foreshadowing on the evil guy. I picked up on weird comments or out-of-place thinking throughout the book. Well done.
Conclusion: Holding Their Own IV is a book that you will probably enjoy. It is a nail biter at some parts and uplifting at others. You will likely learn something by reading this book, and come away from it with a renewed vigor to make yourself and your loved ones prepared for a financial downturn. Reading this book has encouraged me to continue on with my plans to secure forms of reliable water supply and purification, food storage, food production, and food preservation.