Guest Review by Sammy
Buy Link: Where He Belongs
Author: Rachel Haimowitz
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Length: Novella

Rating: 3.75 stars

Where He Belongs is a short collection of vignettes all centered round a main character, the slave Daniel. What this collection of short stories does is give us a glimpse of Daniel through the years. Each one reveals a little bit about his life, from his arrival as a wounded illiterate boy who is taken in hand by a then 12-year-old Marcus (The New Kid), to a glimpse into the hidden and frantic sexual life of a slave (Bathroom Break), and onto his first job, which is actually a punishment given by his owners (A Chance Encounter).

It is in this third story that we meet a young man named Victor who will figure prominently in Daniel’s memories in a subsequent novel, Anchored. It is also where we glean just a bit more about the different types of slaves and the first time that the idea of a “companion” slave, a nice word for a high paid whore, is introduced. Daniel is quick to point out to Victor that he is not a companion, rather that he is being groomed for “something better.” That something better is realized in the next story where we meet Daniel the network anchorman (Camera Obscure).  Still a slave owned by New World, Daniel is also a bright and gifted young man who struggles with the obedience demanded of a slave. In the final story we see a rather bitter Daniel who mourns the loss of Victor, his clandestine lover. Victor has been shuttled off to an unknown location and Daniel watches the fireworks alone, dreaming of his own Independence Day.

As a collection, the stories are well written and, while episodic in nature, they hang together to paint a tantalizing view of a character, Daniel, who we want to know more about. However, this novella would not be as satisfying a read if one did not then go onto the next chapter in Daniel’s life which unfolds in Anchored. So I gave this one a 3.75 rating for well-written, interesting stories that unfortunately were not able to really stand-alone. However read on…because this collection coupled with the next novel makes for compelling reading, in my opinion!

Stay tuned for the reviews of Anchored and Counterpunch, two more stories set in the Belonging Universe.