This is my first Aleksandr Voinov novel, and even though this is not the first book in the Belonging series, I had no trouble jumping into this story and understanding the intense underground society we as well as the main character Brooklyn Marshall is thrust into.
Brooklyn was a police officer, but when he was convicted for killing a woman, every right was stripped away from him, and he ultimately became a slave. Brooklyn’s life consists of three things – taking punishment from the guards, fighting boxing matches, and being sold to rich people for the evening.
Brooklyn is an amazing character, and I love that Voinov tells this story from his point of view. In a world that is so volatile, every decision, every moment counts, and one wrong move can have disastrous consequences. Brooklyn wrestles with so many strong emotions, regret at the decisions he has made that brought him here, anger at his life as a slave, and rage that gets released in the boxing ring.
While may have trouble reading the intense boxing matches, I enjoyed them. Brooklyn is on his way to becoming a heavyweight champion. His thoughts, the graphic descriptions, and animalistic, primal nature that is described is a great balance in this novel.
The underground world is amazing and rich with detail. Brooklyn is a complex character that I couldn’t take my focus off of, and I think this highly emotional novel is a winner.