Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 1828
Sci-Fi For Fans Of MMA
(Updated: July 24, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
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 engrossing and remarkably well thought out across the board. The science isn’t so out-there as to seem mystical, the use of physics is logical, and the organic progression of sporting events adapted to zero-g environments makes perfect sense (from both a practical and human nature standpoint.) The layering goes deeper still, including sociological elements that enrich the plausibility of Lee’s imagined future—from the overall mingling of ethnicity and availability of genetic modification, to the geopolitical conflicts between Earth and Mars, to marriage being re-defined into 5-year incremental contracts that participants may simply choose not to renew.

The highlights of this book are definitely the technical and behind-the-scenes aspects of mixed martial arts (with a zero-gravity twist), along with a keen conveyance of branding and marketing practices. The author has a crisp and competent writing style, with a real strength for action scenes. The metaphors are solid and the pacing moves along at a captivating clip for the first half of the book.

On the downside:

The romantic elements are a bit lacking and the base emotional connectivity seems to take a far backseat to the sport-centric plot. The smoothness of the read shifted at about the same time the legitimacy of Carr’s genetic background became a point of conflict. For some reason Carr never inquires nor seems curious about the identity of his biological father—and the characterization of his mother feels strangely lacking in depth. As the story progresses, Carr himself becomes increasingly difficult to sympathize with and the book becomes easier to put down. Risha and Carr come together without much sensuality or buildup of tension, and didn’t present as a couple this reader felt any particular need to root for. I had a lot of trouble understanding why Carr would choose to keep his “big secret” from the woman he not only (allegedly) loves, but who is best qualified to help him strategize the handling of his precarious situation.

Content Note: To readers and parents who may be concerned, this book sometimes feels as though it's skirting the line between mature YA and New Adult. The f-word is used with some frequency—although nothing beyond what one could realistically expect from a sports setting. Sex is depicted (although not graphically) as something of a casual expectation, with no mention or consideration paid to contraception.

Overall, this is a refreshingly true sci-fi read that takes its research seriously. You'll want to keep an eye on this author.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Daniela and the Pirate Girls
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Who hasn’t heard of the legendary vessel, the Black Croc!...
Child of Galaxies
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Your body was made from the stuff of the stars,...
Shy Ones
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
He's not the type to stand out. In fact, unless...
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
The voices that shaped LGBTQ Young Adult literature, Lambda Award-Winning...
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
 
0.0 (0)
In an idyllic community of wealthy California families, new teacher...
Slamdown Town
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ollie and his older brother, Hollis, have wrestling in their...
The Speed of Starlight: An Exploration of Physics, Sound, Light, and Space
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A contemporary exploration of physics, light, and sound told through...
1,000 Facts About Ancient Egypt
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Mummies, pyramids, pharaohs, King Tut! Kids everywhere are fascinated by...
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends. ...
Ragweed and Poppy
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The first new book about Poppy in more than ten...
Burn
 
3.7
 
0.0 (0)
On a cold Sunday evening in early 1957, Sarah Dewhurst...
The Right Place
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
A squirrel wakes from hibernation feeling something is wrong with...

Latest Member Reviews

You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
" I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth centers around a..."
Pumpkinheads
 
4.7
"I am pretty new to graphic novels so when I won a copy of 'Pumpkin Heads' on GoodReads I was..."
Burn
 
3.7
"BURN imagines a world that is just like ours, except that dragons exist. Dragons have been around for longer than..."
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
 
5.0
"WONDER WOMAN: TEMPEST TOSSED is a fantastic new story featuring Diana coming into her own. She has been raised among..."
The Archer at Dawn (The Tiger at Midnight, #2)
 
5.0
"THE ARCHER AT DAWN is a fantastic sequel in the THE TIGER AT MIDNIGHT trilogy. This second book picks up..."
My Calamity Jane
 
5.0
"What worked: This is a fun paranormal twist on historical figures set in the Wild West of 1876. I loved..."
Where Dreams Descend
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK This book was everything I wanted and more. It begins with Kallia and her performance. It quickly descends into..."
The State of Us
 
5.0
"THE STATE OF US is a really fantastic YA contemporary romance that follows the children of two political rivals. Dean's..."
Live Like Legends
 
5.0
"LIVE LIKE LEGENDS is an absolutely fantastic YA fantasy romance. We follow Kalista, who is a princess born to be..."
Blood Countess (Lady Slayers)
 
4.3
"Visually, this book is a gorgeous work of art, splattered with blood from cover to cover. For those familiar with..."
Like Sisters on the Homefront
 
4.7
"Top 3 reasons to read LIKE SISTERS ON THE HOMEFRONT: 1.) The characters- Gayle, a NYC girl sent to..."
Daphne and Velma: The Vanishing Girl
 
3.7
"Daphne Blake and Velma Dinkley are opposites. Daphne is popular, traditionally pretty, and sociable. Velma prefers books and information to..."
Felix Ever After
 
5.0
"Felix has never been in love, but he wants to be. He wants the experience of opening your heart, having..."
The Sullivan Sisters
 
5.0
"Eileen, Claire, and Murphy Sullivan used to be close. They had their special traditions, their shared laughs, and their shared..."
The Summer of Impossibilities
 
3.7
"THE SUMMER OF IMPOSSIBILITIES is a YA contemporary about friendship in the vein of THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS...."
Tarnished Are the Stars
 
4.3
"FEEDBACK I actually really enjoyed this story. The beginning was a little confusing because there wasn’t too much explanation of..."
The Bitterwine Oath
 
3.3
"San Solano, Texas is not only known for its Southern charm but also gruesome murders that took place fifty..."
Wicked Saints: A Novel (Something Dark and Holy, #1)
 
5.0
"FEEDBACK When I first heard about this book I thought it was interesting. Then I saw all the hype..."
Dear Universe
 
3.3
"DEAR UNIVERSE follows Chamomile (Cham) during her senior year. She is trying to focus on living this year to its..."