Book Review: One Man’s Opus by Boyd Craven III

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Looking for some more prepper fiction to fill your lazy days of summer? Do you love dogs? Do you like characters that aren’t Rambo and Bear Grylls, all rolled into one? Looking for something a little different than the usual prepper books?

Then you’ll love One Man’s Opus by Boyd Craven III.

When I went to Bosnia and Croatia, I weighed down my suitcase with a bunch of prepper fiction to pass the time when I was without internet. Some of these books were really awesome and I want to tell my friends who love reading about them. (You can find my review of LL Akers’ SHTF series here and my review of A. American’s Survivalist series here.)

About the characters in One Man’s Opus

Boyd Craven is a natural storyteller and it shows in his books. His main character in this book is a writer, hiker, camper, and a newbie prepper. His secondary character is a bad-to-the-bone chick who doesn’t require a rescue. But the star of the book is Opus, the preternaturally smart German Shepherd dog who brings everyone together. And as anyone who has ever spent much time with a German Shepherd will tell you they’re some of the most intelligent pooches around.

I loved the fact that Rick, the main character and narrator, was just a humble, down-to-earth guy. He wasn’t a strapping Rambo-style ex-soldier – just a normal man who wanted to protect the people (and animals) he loved. Tina, the female character, is no softy either. She’s a business owner who is prepared to protect herself.

The character development in this book is top notch. It’s written in a way that they remind you of someone you know (or the neighbors you wish you had) almost immediately.

The SHTF scenario

Another thing that makes this book different than other prepper fiction is the scenario. It’s not another EMP or solar flare story. It’s about something that isn’t at all far-fetched in our current society, politically motivated civil unrest.

As Rick starts noticing that the social temperature is rising, he begins to set up a retreat and build a stockpile quickly. It’s educational to follow along as you see how he sets up his off-grid bug out location and stocks up on supplies. There’s a lot of advice written into the story for a savvy prepper to learn from.

One point of conflict in the story is Rick butting heads with some of the locals, a situation to which many of us could relate if we took off to the boondocks and set up camp.

The thing I most appreciated is that this scenario was low key compared to most prepper fiction, but it was one that seems more likely than our entire grid suddenly going down. (Not to say the grid thing couldn’t happen – just that statistically, we’re more likely to see civil unrest than an EMP strike.) It’s a theme I hope more survival authors will pick up, this end-of-the-world that isn’t the all-out end of civilization as we know it. There are so many different kinds of SHTFs but it seems authors mainly focus on one. This isn’t to say I don’t also love the heck out of apocalyptic fiction – it’s just to point out this creative difference.

The humor

Yep, you read that right. The other thing that makes this book different is that it’s downright funny. Throughout the book are humorous scenes, canine antics, and conversations between characters. (I swear Sarge has to have been modeled after my long-deceased uncle – he has that same loveable curmudgeonly humor.)

I really enjoyed sitting down to read a book about a serious topic that still had me laughing. This book was so light and humorous that I stayed up on my 8-hour flight reading it and devoured it in one sitting. I wasn’t worth much the following day due to lack of sleep, but I sure did enjoy the reason why.

My recommendations

This is a great read. Boyd is a wonderful storyteller and character creator. But it may not be for everyone.

It’s for you if…

  • you like books that have prepper advice and stockpile suggestion sprinkled through
  • you love dogs for their loyalty, humor, and personality
  • you like a little romance with your bug out
  • you appreciate characters that are a bit more down to earth

It’s not for you if…

  • you’re looking for an action hero lead character (I’ve got a book like that coming up for review soon)
  • you don’t like fiction written from a more casual perspective
  • you like lots of blazing guns and battle scenes
  • you prefer your fiction to be full-on Mad Max level catastrophes

Personally, I loved the book and I think you will too.

Where to get it

One Man’s Opus is available on Amazon, as are the other two books in this trilogy, Opus Odyssey and Opus Adventure. You can find all of Boyd Craven III’s books right here.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, gun-toting blogger who writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company.  She lives in the mountains of Virginia with her family. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • I’m going to give this a try. I don’t read books that have a dog on the front cover because…..well, the dog almost always bites the dust by chapter 3, and the first 2 are all about how cute and smart the dog is and once you’re emotionally attached to him/her………wham he/she gets it defending their owner.
    Love big dogs, but for some reason we’re always rescuing ankle biters…..not that they do, bite ankles that is…..:-)

  • I enjoy Boyd Craven’s books also. They are among my favorite prepper fiction. Premonitions by Diana E. Anderson is another interesting read.

  • First, let me start by telling Daisy how much I appreciate her website and her books, of which I’ve enjoyed for years. I have many of her books, both in paperback and pdf, and find them real, easy to follow, and very helpful.

    Second, another book recommendation is Cyber Storm by Matthew Mather. It too is not an EMP or solar flare situation with a Rambo main character. Not only is it extremely relatable for everyone, since most people live in populated areas, but applies to today’s digital world with a twist at the end that you never considered the entire time reading; however, makes perfect sense and has you questioning yourself and whether you would have reacted the way the main characters did. It also takes place in winter, possibly presenting new scenarios and solutions for readers to ponder.

    Daisy, I hope life is treating you well, and thank you for everything you do to help all of us!

  • I bought the series and started a second series he wrote. Very good reading material, it does make you think. I have been in this mindset sine 1971 and have been teaching for the last 30 years around the Country and all my classes are free. Currently. I am teaching the OATH KEEPERS public training series in the ReDoubt.
    Best Regards,
    Ranger Rick CERT TTT / CPEM III/ 5th Grp S.F. Airborne
    Automatic Survivor Training Group
    North Idaho

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