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3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,127 ratings  ·  283 reviews
A Sci-Fi Thrill Ride Set in the Action-Packed Sports Arena of the Future

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.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published April 8th 2015 by Flux
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Fonda Lee Zeroboxer is a stand alone. Perhaps a companion novel will make it's way into the world someday.
Fonda Lee I'm not familiar with esports, so any similarities are purely coincidental, or more likely, jumping out at you because Zeroboxer is based on the cultu…moreI'm not familiar with esports, so any similarities are purely coincidental, or more likely, jumping out at you because Zeroboxer is based on the culture of modern combat sports and sports marketing in general. (less)
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 ·  1,127 ratings  ·  283 reviews

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Fonda Lee
Dec 27, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: i-wrote-this
Zeroboxer is my debut novel, so it's special to me in a "firstborn child" kind of way. It's inspired by my love for science fiction, combat sports, and smart action stories, and influenced by my years of working in the sports industry and seeing firsthand the power of celebrity and marketing. The best part of writing Zeroboxer? Getting to create, envision and write about the sport of zeroboxing! What I wouldn't give to watch one of those matches.
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Where to even start!? First of all, it is so kick ass. Literally, because it's about zero gravity boxing.

On that note, IT'S ABOUT ZERO GRAVITY BOXING. I mean....come on.

The world of this book is amazing. The sort of intense, all-encompassing scifi that feels complete and alive but never confusing. The action (which is comprised primarily of nail-biting fights) is interspersed with smart commentary on marketing and celebrity, a
Heidi The Reader
At first, I thought that Zeroboxer was just Rocky in space, but as the story developed, I realized that it was more than that. Zeroboxer is also an examination of genetic ethics and, like most science fiction, poses some serious 'what if's. What if humanity begins to settle the universe- will they divide themselves into different races depending upon their planet of origins? What if the settlers develop their own system of government- how will humankind negotiate the potentially choppy waters of ...more
Feb 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
"You've never been to that place...That place where you know you can't win...but you can decide not to lose."

Carr Luka is a rising star in the sport of zeroboxing, which is essentially a kind of MMA where participants fight in a zero gravity cube instead of a ring. His story is a fairly simple one and we see the rise of the small time fighter as he makes it big. So what makes Zeroboxer a little different then? Because if you're like me, you don't really care at all about sports, but you do want
Overall Rating : A+


BOXING. IN SPACE. Who in the world would've thought that this would be a great combination? Fonda Lee that's who.

Amazing doesn't even begin to describe what I read in this book. I felt impassioned by everything that was going on. The rookie boxer trying to be the best he can be, with a heart that just won't quit. His grizzled trainer, looking after him like he was his own son. And the girl from Mars who can look after herself thank you very much, but can find a place with Car
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fonda Lee sends us on a totally new extreme fighting thrill ride with an endearing romance to boot.

Luka Carr is the up and coming hopeful for the Zeroboxer championship. His talent is unsurpassed. He is assigned a brandhelm, a personal promoter named Risha. The attraction is evident immediately between Luka and Risha and sparks soon fly.

This is a very different world they live in. Mars is colonized. Space stations offer vacation retreats (hence the zero gravity) and old earth is now called Terra
Shaun Hutchinson
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book to start 2018 off with. The short description is that this is sci-fi Rocky with an added kind-of thriller storyline added in. The plot is pretty straight forward. What makes this book so damn good is that the sport of zeroboxing is fleshed out in a really believable way. The way Lee describes it makes it feel every bit as real as MMA or boxing. The world building is simply phenomenal. The characters themselves are also well done and easy to root for.

Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Would you like an extremely quick breakdown of this book? I'll oblige. Zeroboxer is Rocky, in space. Oh yes, my friends. Complete with the craggy, but ultimately lovable coach, and all the related drama. That's not to say that this isn't a good book. I'm simply telling you exactly what to expect. This was most definitely a different kind of Science Fiction than I'm used to, and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it.

First off, credit where credit is due. The sport of zeroboxing is so well
3.5 stars. Fast-paced story with believeable fight descriptions in the zeroboxing ring, as well as a credible future that includes space travel, gene modifications for health as well as cosmetic purposes, and interplanetary tensions between Earth and Mars. Carr is a young zeroboxer who is incredibly focused and determined to win a prizefight. He's given a new brandhelm, Risha, who ensure Carr's profile is raised. Carr, of course, falls for her. (I had some problems with the relationship between ...more
CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨
I don't give a damn about sport.
But, this book is all about a fictional sport called 'zeroboxing' - essentially boxing in zero-gravity. Yeah, it is definitely as cool as it sounds. And this book was definitely cool.

- An incredible, compelling, and fun science-fiction that combines futurism, sports, and intense action.
- It's about zero-gravity boxing, called 'zeroboxing'. Yeah, it's definitely as cool as it sounds.
- Set in future Earth/Terra and Mars, the book has incredible ideas and concepts a
Lee Kelly
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is quite simply one of the best science fiction novels I've ever read.

As a reader, I was totally swept away: I found myself rooting hard for Carr, thought the rich world of the future that Lee imagines -- Mars/Earth tension, Luna, space station "vacation" colonies -- was completely immersive, and I gobbled up the thrilling zeroboxing scenes. But as a writer, I might be even more impressed if that's possible. Fonda Lee has not only built a world in ZEROBOXER, she's created a sport -- from th
I.W. Gregorio
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is, I kid you not, the most engrossing sci-fi book I have read in years. It has EVERYTHING - action, complex world building, characters that you feel completely invested in, and even a lovely element of romance.

In some ways it is just as much of a sports movie as it is a sci fi book, but I love how Lee makes the competitive conflict and makes it so, so much more.

Desperately hoping for a sequel...
Bogi Takács
This was exactly my thing. More about it in a bit. (IY"H) I am piled under Transcendent 3 stuff, but I want to review it later. Just a few notes -

Note that it is more NA-ish, with a 18yo pro athlete character who is already contemplating things like career and marriage. (This is not a problem!!) It is hard to find NA that is not entirely a romance, and this has a plot about sports and performance enhancement (and a really good one!!). So you might want to check it out if you're interested in som
Megan  (YABookers)
I received this free from the publishers via NetGalley

*I really shouldn't leave it so long to write my reviews as I'm never any good at them when I leave it so long but too much work...*

Carr Luka is one of the best at the weightless sport of zeroboxing. He dreams of winning the championship and after a great fight he gets a new contract who want to make him a star. He is assigned a marketing strategist Risha, and the two soon fall in love. Carr becomes an inspiration on earth but his life is soo
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Zeroboxer is largely a futuristic sports story with a crime/suspense element that touches on celebrity, genetic engineering, and marketing. Although I thought the sport of zeroboxing was interesting (despite not being a fan of boxing/fighting sports in general), I thought the book was an average read with its one dimensional characters and abrupt ending, plus it didn't deeply explore the aspects I found most compelling (marketing, genetic engineering, and the rift between Earth and Mars). It's n ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-ya-debuts
Studies show I hate boxing even when it’s in space
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, own
I first heard about Zeroboxer from my Lightspeed book review editor Wendy Wagner last November, but I was like, I don't care about boxing. When the book came out, it got a lot of good buzz, so when I went to Sasquan, Fonda Lee was on my radar. Turns out she's a very cool person, and I bought the book and started reading it on the way home.

Fonda Lee describes Zeroboxer as "Rocky meets Gattaca" and that is actually an accurate description.

In the future the coolest sport is zeroboxing, which is box
Dark Faerie Tales
Feb 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed-by-zed
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Gravity-defying solar sports contests and a life altering secret.

Opening Sentence: Carr Luka woke from a nap three hours before his fight.

The Review:

I am not a fan of any kind of sport, whether it’s football, basketball or golf, and although this book is based on a sport called ‘zeroboxing’ it had me hooked. Zeroboxing isn’t any sport you’ve heard of before, it’s an inter-planet sport that is like boxing but without gravity! This story is set on
Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts)
Jun 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-my-habitat
Zeroboxer is obviously a book farrrr from my range. In fact, it's literally out of bounds. A sports-themed book is the last thing I'll ever read – I'll read contemporary romance any day over that.

But Fonda Lee's book is something different. Something completely different and out of bounds from what I usually read, and I didn't think I would actually enjoy her novel as much as I did. It's about boxing in zero gravity! On the moon! And Mars! Happy dance ensues – I'm a space nut.

Zeroboxer focuses o
An Electronic Advanced Reader Copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review. Quotes have been pulled from an ARC and may be subject to change.

Carr has boxed in zero gravity since head just seven years old. He started zeroboxing professionally ever since then and now he's eighteen. Quickly gaining wins he becomes the most popular zero boxer on Terrain (Earth). He catches the eye of a brands elm who wants him to be a star and with that comes an attraction he has never known. When he
Zeroboxer is a seriously cool sports story set in a seriously cool sci-fi setting. It’s got a Rocky III meets Real Steel feel with a touch of M.T. Anderson’s Feed thrown in for good measure, but it definitely has some stuff that’s all its own, too. Carr Luka is a rising star in the sport of zeroboxing (just what it sounds like - boxing in zero gravity). When he wins match after match, it is decided that he will become the face of zeroboxing - the guy that will boost the sport’s popularity on Ear ...more
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Okay, if this book isn't made into a movie, I will be one unhappy camper!

World building is hugely important to sci-fi/fantasy, and Zeroboxer more than delivers on this front. Everything, from the sport and Earth/Mars political relations to a myriad of future technologies and practices, it's all here and beautifully envisioned. There's tons of detailed observations but they never bog down the action, which comes fast and furious, especially during the fight sequences. Car is also a great characte
Nov 14, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: 2015
zero gravity prizefighting ...?
Rocky meets Gattaca ...?

Damn, that sounds like it might be just THE BOOK for me.
I spent a long time waiting for something to happen in this book. There's not so much a plot as a collection of the essential narrative beats of an inspirational sports film.

Carr Luka is the zero-gravity equivalent of a boxer (MMA fighter?). He's a teen prodigy, 17 years old at the start of the book (by the end of the book he was 19. Which still felt weirdly young for his personality). In Carr's world, global warming and overpopulation have wrecked Earth. Mars was settled by scientist pioneers
Angela Blount
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, sci-fi
Originally reviewed for YA Books Central:

3.5 Stars

This sci-fi debut steps boldly into the YA ring and puts on a compelling show.

Set an indeterminate number of years in the future, the story is told entirely from the third-person point of view of Carr Luka, a 17-year-old "zeroboxer" of exceptional gifting. His career has just taken off, and he’s attracting a lot of attention—some good, some jealous, and some potentially dangerous.

The worldbuilding is en
Beth Cato
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a 2015 Andre Norton Award Finalist. I read it as part of the Nebula reading packet.

Lee has created a fascinating science fiction young adult novel in Zeroboxer. Carr is a teenage prodigy, a boy from Earth who busts into the world of weightless boxing. Tensions between Earth and Mars are high; poverty is rife on the homeworld where children are still often made by traditional means, whereas Mars has genetically engineered its population for survival and success. Carr's growing popularity
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is really fantastic, a fresh and engaging science fiction read. I found the plot to be highly original, the world building sound and the characters suitably complex. Having a scifi novel set around a fictional sport, in this case a zero g mma sport called zero boxing, isn't something I think I've ever seen in a science fiction story. I also loved how diverse the cultures and the characters were, a refreshing change from a traditionally somewhat white dominant genre of fiction. I read t ...more
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It's a miracle. A book has made me care about sports. Care about BOXING. And oh wow the amount that I care.

The last fifth of the book was like watching the gold medal hockey game in the Olympics, when Canada is playing. The country shuts down, because everyone's attention is glued to the most important patch of ice in the world. Only this time it's two WORLDS glued to a zero gravity cube.

What a fantastic book.
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I feel like it's hard to find good sports-focused YA novels, and throw in a sci-fi element? YES PLEASE. This book was fun! It's not perfect-there's no resolution (which I guess is fine in the context of the plot but seems slightly like a cop-out), the main female character doesn't really do anything or serve much purpose-but the world and sport-building are very fun and Carr is a likable protagonist so it was a pretty enjoyable read.
Jun 20, 2017 marked it as unfinished
Well, I managed to struggle through half of the book before neglecting it for a few weeks and finally deciding to just give up. I have to admit that the idea behind it seems like a good one, but it just isn't carried out in an intriguing way. Not to mention that the romance in the novel seems (at least to me) to have come out of nowhere. I just couldn't see two people realistically forming such a relationship that fast, and they didn't seem like a good fit either. So in the end while I applaud ...more
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Fonda Lee is an author of science fiction and fantasy novels for adults and teens. Her fantasy trilogy, the Green Bone Saga, begins with Jade City, which won the 2018 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, was a finalist for the Nebula and Locus Awards, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by NPR, Barnes & Noble, Powell's Books, Syfy Wire, and the Verge. Her young adult science fiction novels, Zeroboxer ...more

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