Counterpunch is a BRILLIANT read. It's intense, gripping, gritty and so bloody real, I just couldn't put it down.
I wasn't going to read it, to be honest. I can't read slavefics, they give me nightmares and haunt me for days (and NOT in a good way), but I was persuaded when someone gave me the book as a present. (You know who you are, Mister!!)
Once I started… well, I wrote it above, couldn't put it down. As scared as I was about the slavery, I was pleasantly surprised that my normal hick-ups didn't apply to this book. (No nightmares, just smiling at the end :D )
Brooklyn was… words don't suffice to describe him, but he won me over. He was flawed, tough, raw, abused and boxed-in, and yet he kept fighting, kept hoping. I'm not a boxing kind of girl (I really don't get the sport and mostly see it as an excuse to beat each other up), but the way Voinov painted the boxing scenes, the way Brooklyn lived the sport… there was no way to get around it, it grabbed me, compelled me to believe in him, believe in his fight, his passion. For once in my life, I got it and even found myself enjoying the sport, despite the setting.
Nathaniel was interesting. A strange counter-balance for Brooklyn that I didn't expect to work out when he was first introduced. But there is something about him that just works. Looks can be deceiving.
It's hard not to mention this without spoiling, but I felt a childish glee when the prediction I had about a minor character turned out to be right. (gave me the same satisfaction as finding out my prediction of Snape being the half-blood prince was right). Like I said, childish, but little things like that also make a story that much more satisfactory
All in all, brilliant writing, brilliant characters, brilliant world building. A definite re-read :D