Zemsta touches on social issues of the '20s, when Akron was a stronghold of groups like the Ku Klux Klan that targeted not only African-Americans, but also Jewish, Catholic and immigrant workers who had been attracted by the labor boom of the rubber industry. There are many good historical details.
--Akron Beacon Journal
Brown has layered Zemsta with multiple characters giving the story extensive width. I am more critical of writers who attempt to put their spin on history. Brown does not disappoint. Taking us into the early 1900s when America was first undertaking its grand social experiment known as Prohibition: Brown successfully navigates us through a history lesson of human corruption, while illuminating readers to a difficult and troublesome period in American history. I can easily see this book on a recommended reading list for high school or college students.
--Eric Wynn, Yahoo! Voices
Brown has assembled all the right ingredients for a gritty historical novel. Prohibition-era Akron, Ohio, with its brutal factory conditions, corrupt wealth, and harsh class relations offers the backdrop for this novel about immigrants attempting to maintain the bonds of childhood friendship as life pulls them apart.