VOYA Magazine had nice things to say about ZEROBOXER:
Lee, Fonda. Zeroboxer. Flux/Llewellyn, 2015. 360p. $11.99 Trade pb. 978-0-7387-4338-7.
In a future world, gene modification to eliminate imperfections is considered standard. Even so, Terrans disparage the more radical genetic changes Mars colonists have made in order to survive. Martians have become essentially another race resulting in simmering unrest between the two worlds. Seventeen-year-old Carr Luka is aware of these issues but his single-minded focus is on becoming a zeroboxer champion. When Risha, a half-Martian, is assigned to be his personal brandhelm, Carr becomes the face of Terran zeroboxing. Carr falls hard for Risha, an older (by three years) woman. The relationship is serious enough that Carr considers marriage. All Carr’s dreams seem to be coming true until he learns a devastating secret that has potentially catastrophic ramifications.
Lee’s debut novel is an intense, smart, and action-packed read. The future world is well thought out in its everyday details. Grounded in the personal, Carr’s navigation of career and romance over the course of two years is impacted by social issues that are just as relevant today—genetic modification, race relations, and sports performance enhancement. Carr comes to learn that his life does not occur in a vacuum. The secret he holds compromises his personal ethics, but the ripples also affect his relationships, fans, and world events. Not just sports fans will be enthralled by the drama of the zeroboxing matches. They focus as much on strategy and emotion as on the inherent violence. Older teens, especially boys, will enjoy some food for thought along with an exciting story.