If I had to choose a word to describe Counterpunch, it would be beautiful
. But beauty is a general term. I'm not talking about the good-looking or the skin-deep type of beauty. I'm talking about the type that can only be witnessed after a violent event. Like the first rays of sunlight after a devastating storm , and yet that same wondrous sunlight does nothing to hide the carnage. Instead, it gives us a sense of a new beginning. That even though nothing can hide or make the past disappear, we still have a future to look forward to.
The story is told from Brooklyn's POV, and we are explained details of his life prior to enslavement throughout the story. Things happen to him. Bad things. And Reality does nothing to make life easy for Brooklyn, until Nathanial comes in. Mr. Voinov does a good job with making the readers understand - really understand
- Brooklyn. He's not one of those characters where you scratch your head, wondering why he does what he does. His choices are limited, sure, but being inside his head was easier than I would have expected.
In terms of the world building, I felt adequate detail was given to understand what was needed (it's pretty similar to our present day world, with the exception of enslavement as seen in this book). Pacing was not an issue, though a LOT happens within the last few pages of the book, I felt the length was adequate. And despite not knowing ANYTHING about boxing prior to reading this book (except that you have half naked men punching each other in a ring), I did not feel lost at all during the fights.
If there is one fault I have with Counterpunch, it is the fact that I wanted more Nathanial x Brooklyn time! However, realistically, that wouldn't have been very probable in the context of the book, so I won't feel too saddened by this. :-)
But overall? If you have enjoyed Mr. Voinov's other works, go ahead and jump on in! If you haven't read any of his works before, then I would say if you like reading about one man's struggle through a very harsh and unrelenting world, yet coming out a winner, then give Counterpunch a shot (just note that this isn't a fluffy kind of read, at all). You won't be disappointed!