ULTRABALL: Lunar Blitz
On the moon, Ultraball players are superstars, and only kids can play. But being an Ultraball superstar means blinding lights, deafening crowds, and the pressure of an entire colony on your back.
That’s how it is for Strike Sazaki, the best quarterback in the league. He loves defying gravity in his Ultrabot suit, crashing through opponents, and firing touchdown passes to his teammates. Strike has led the Taiko Miners to the Ultrabowl three years in a row, but each one has ended in defeat.
This year, Strike thinks he’s finally found the missing piece to his championship quest: a mysterious girl who could be his new star rocketback. But Boom comes from the Dark Siders, a mass of people who left the United Moon Colonies to live in exile. And not all his teammates are happy sharing a field with her.
When rumors surface of a traitor on the Miners, Strike isn’t sure who he can trust. If Strike can’t get his teammates to cooperate and play together, they’ll lose more than just the Ultrabowl. The future of his entire colony rests on his shoulders.
Debut author Jeff Chen introduces an exhilarating smash-mouth sport and a dazzling future world on the moon, where Ultraball is life—and survival is all that matters.
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Strike and the Miners are hungrier than ever for a championship after losing yet another Ultrabowl. When they suffer a shocking defeat in their season opener, Strike knows that something is off with his game, but the secret hampering his play is too large to reveal.
If he can’t perform at the highest level, what chances do the Miners have against the unstoppable Neutrons?
Worse yet, his powerful enemy, Raiden Zuna, knows Strike is hiding something. Zuna offers to help, and Strike is tempted—but the information Zuna wants in return threatens Strike’s friend Boom, as well as the growing Dark Side resistance. When rumors surface about Zuna’s mysterious grand plan, code-named Operation Deathstrike, Strike’s choice could have consequences he never anticipated.
Even as the Ultraball games ratchet up in intensity, with teams using explosive new tactics to reach the Ultrabowl, Strike has bigger decisions to make if he wants to keep his teammates—and the moon—safe.
Reviews for the ULTRABALL series:
"Adventure and sports abound in this post-apocalyptic sci-fi debut. Every Ultraball game is tightly written with great clarity. This series opener is an intriguing hybrid of football and sci-fi with plenty of butt jokes."
"In between the fart jokes and extended play-by-plays, Chen's debut also delivers a smart and subtle exploration of socioeconomic inequality. Sf and sports readers alike will enjoy the futuristic dystopia Chen has created and the relatable cast of kids trying to save it. Fans of Mike Lupica, Dan Gutman, and Tim Green looking to get their feet wet in sf should be directed to this series opener."
“Fart jokes and cheesy banter makes this well suited for a middle school audience.”
-School Library Journal