on 9 July 2012
The first thing I noticed about this book was the unorthodox typesetting.
Traditionally chapter titles are in a sans-serif font which helps them stand out whereas body text is in a serif font while helps the readers eye flow along the lines. However "Holding your own" is all in a sans-serif font. The titles while bold are in grey making them stand out less than the body text, all rather un-professional. I also spotted over ten typographical errors in this book where typically I'd only find one or two.
That aside, on to the content:
The story centres on one man and his wife in Texas. America is struggling with an economic depression and a foreign power decides to take advantage of this time of weakness to unleash a succession of sleeper agents attacks on America.
The overstretched public services struggle and eventually fail under the strain. Society crumbles and the venire of civilisation slips.
This is one of the more realistic End Of The Wold As We Know It books I've read and I enjoyed it.
That said I have a few criticisms of this book.
I found the start of the book vulgar; the main character spends a lot of time coming up with crude ways to misinterpret his wife's comments. While I appreciate a witty double-entendre this was un-couth. Fortunately it tones down after a few chapters.
The main characters mother-in-law is killed early on in the book, yet his wife does not react realistically to this exceptionally traumatic event in her life.
The author would have benefited from a technical consultant. Oxygen doesn't burn, it allows other things to burn. An airborne spark encountering a leak from an oxygen cylinder won't cause an explosion. It will just burn out very brightly.
At one point the main character describes having secured a 50 year supply in rechargeable batteries, this made me laugh. Batteries have a shelf life whether used or not and recent battery technology is focused on improving charge-density rather than shelf life. 5 years might have been believable.
Despite these weaknesses Holding Their Own was an engaging read.