I received this book for free from blog tours, NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Llewellyn Publications on April 8th 2015
Genres: Science Fiction, Space, Young Adult
Source: blog tours, NetGalley
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. 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.
THE WORLD OF ZEROBOXER
Zeroboxer takes place in a future when the inner solar system has been colonized with the aid of genetic engineering. Humans now inhabit not only Earth, but Mars, the Moon, and city space stations. Here’s a glimpse into the three settings that show up in the novel: Valtego Station, Earth (specifically Toronto), and Surya Station.
Valtego Station is where Carr Luka lives and competes. It’s a city space station positioned beyond the dark side of the moon, in fixed orbit around Earth. Valtego is a shipping hub and a major center for space tourism. I was inspired by the idea of a “Las Vegas in space”—a place that springs out of a seemingly uninhabitable landscape and becomes a giant tourist playground. Just as Las Vegas is a mecca for professional boxing and MMA today, Valtego Station is the place to be for the sport of zeroboxing.
Space tourism is a very real thing in development today. Check out this NYTimes article.
It’s fitting that I’m at Book Nerd Canada today because Carr, like me, is a Canadian. I lived in Toronto for several years, and a few things influenced me to set parts of Zeroboxer in a distant-future version of the city:
Toronto is the most vibrant, populous, multicultural metropolitan center north of the 49th parallel, and I imagined it becoming even more so in centuries to come
Climate change might make large parts of Earth uninhabitable but as someone who endured many years of Canadian winter, I can’t help being pleased that Toronto would become a warmer and more desirable place to live
Canada already claims one of the all-time best UFC fighters, Georges St-Pierre, so I liked the fact that Carr Luka would share a nationality with my favorite MMA athlete
Sadly, although Toronto endures the centuries pretty well, Earth as a whole hasn’t fared so well relative to the colonies.
Surya Station is city space station in orbit around Mars. The station is named after the chief solar deity in Hinduism. Unlike residents of Earth, the Martian colonists built city-stations concurrently with the terraforming of the planet surface, so Surya is a bustling metropolis in its own right. Zeroboxing exploded as a sport on Mars before it became popular on Earth, so Surya, which is a center for all weightless activities including spacewalking and space dance, would be the natural place to hold a climactic interplanetary zeroboxing tournament.
If you wish you could score tickets to such a epic event, you’ll have to pick up a copy of Zeroboxer, which released from Flux/Llewellyn last week and is now available at bookstores and online.
And for more Zeroboxer excitement, check out the other online and live launch events happening this month including readings, blog posts, interviews, giveaways, and special features.
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 realizes his mother and his coach have been keeping a secret that will change his life, will he flee or will he fight?
There is some excellent futuristic gizmos and gadgets in this story. Like colour changing hair dye, and even tattoos that are electric. The world definitely was built up from the ground up and we don’t necessarily get a crash course, so that was missing. It just felt like this was the future and people travel in cubes and can live on Mars and other stations. I love that it was set in Toronto and even had mentions of the Harbourfront and Quren and Jarvis streets. It felt like I was literally dropped in the future and this is what is the most popular sport. I could pretty much imagine the entire fight scenes in my head, it was that detailed. My favourite parts of the book really.
Overall, an amazingly solid debut and I can’t wait for more even though the ending was so open-ended!
For more Zeroboxer excitement, check out the other online and live launch events including readings, blog posts, interviews, giveaways, and special features.