Review: Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

By: Fonda Lee
Publisher: Flux
Published: April 8, 2015
Genre: Sci-fi YA


A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may also spill the violence from the sports arena into the solar system.



1thoughtsZeroboxer follows the life of Carr. Carr is known as an up-and-coming zeroboxer. He seems to be untouchable and soon finds himself with a whole crew backing him and helping him climb his way to the top. However, when he finally makes it big, he finds out that he’s in the middle of a huge criminal investigation. One that could not only end his career but change the way Zeroboxing and Terrans (humans) are looked upon.

This was an interesting book to read. The author definitely put a lot of thought into the world building. There were rings and banisters everywhere for people to grab onto when in zero gravity. There were foot holds all over the place. Terrans can have their DNA enhanced before birth. They can also enhance themselves later on in life. So if you have allergies, that can be fixed. If you need glasses, you get new optical eyes. At no point was I envisioning the present day. Everything about Zeroboxer screamed futuristic sci-fi.

The Zeroboxing takes place in a huge floating cube that has zero gravity inside. The fighters get into this cube and fight. They have gripper shoes and gloves to help latch themselves to the walls of the cube but there were quite a few times when the boxers would just float in the cube attacking each other or hugging it out (in an attempt to keep the other boxer from hitting them). The fighting was very detailed and the author apparently knows what she’s talking about. You could easily picture what has going on when in the cube. There weren’t any fancy fighting move names or blurred over scenes. The author gives you the play by play of what happens inside the cube. Which is great since the whole story is about zeroboxing.

My one huge issue with the book is that it skipped ahead with no warning. One minute Carr would be strategizing with his coach about an upcoming fight and the next chapter those matches would be done and over with. It took me a few minutes to get my bearings when the author would skip ahead.

This was an enjoyable sci-fi read. It was kind of like Rocky meets zero gravity boxing. You watch a young nobody rise through the ranks of zeroboxing. You watch their struggles and their accomplishments. You watch as they make poor and wise decisions. You’re basically reading about the rise of zeroboxing itself. There’s very light romance in this. It’s really just kind of like a buzzing mosquito in the background. The moment it starts to come around, the author swats it away and continues with the zeroboxing. I heavily enjoyed the world she created and I think it’s a great debut novel. I’m interested to see what she comes out with next.


1favequote“If he lost, he would be a failure. If he won, he would be a fraud.”


8 Thoughts on “Review: Zeroboxer by Fonda Lee

  1. Yay for solid world building! It does sound a little light on plot if you’re not into fighting, though.

  2. Sounds like an interesting read! The skipping ahead bits would confuse me as well.

    • Those definitely took away from the story for me. I need my books to flow seamlessly. I’m far too easily distracted and unannounced jumps like that are very distracting.

  3. Glad you liked this. I don’t this is for me though. Even with the very human element, just reading the sci-fi parts are intimidating me.

    • It was a little difficult to picture everyone walking around in zero gravity but it also added to the story. Sci-fi isn’t for everyone and it’s always hit or miss for me. However, that cover was too good to pass up.

  4. The skipping without warning sounds annoying but the concept and world building sounds well done

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