Evy Rivera is trying to embrace her fate as a lightening rider. Evy knows that there is so much that she has to figure out about her power and even more importantly, Evy must figure out the motives behind the two guides who are sending her conflicting messages because the fate of the world is depending on it. Tesla is a figure that history has chosen to largely ignore, though much of what we use on an every day basis is based on his designs. As brilliant as Tesla was, there is so much we don't know about what he created. Evy is tasked to find Tesla and protect his free energy designs. Imagine how the world would change is free energy was available to everyone. Even when power is free though, it just might come at a terrible cost.
Evy is still very new to the time travel business. After saving Aurelia, so that her line can produce a very important scientist, it's time for Evy to move on but she finds herself continually drawn back to ancient Rome to visit with Constantine. This is the ultimate in long distance relationships because not only are they separated by an ocean but centuries in time. Evy cannot put this ancient warrior behind her, yet chafes at his suggestion that she needs to be protected. Can their love affair manage the impossible?
Shadow Boxer at times felt very rush and confused. Evy didn't so much really investigate, as fall into situation after situation. In Lightning Rider, Evy chose to trust Penya over Illya based on his obvious sexism without really learning anything about either of them. In Shadow Boxer, Evy is even more lost and though she knows Penya is withholding information, she chooses to trust her. Evy essentially goes along without questioning, even when it becomes patently obvious that she should and I don't understand that at all. Evy spends much of her time trying to outwit Illya and truth be told, though this was meant to make her seem calculating, it was completely undermined by her absolute trust of Penya.
Even though it is essential that Evy travel through time, this element of the book helped to make it feel as though it had no real cohesion. Evy was absolutely directionless for much of Shadow Boxer and this made it hard to invest in the story. As a reader, I was very well aware of the historical characters in this novel but Evy was largely in ignorance because she didn't take the time to research. This is ridiculous when she had the internet at her fingertips. Why wouldn't she spend more than a few cursory moments on google researching Tesla and his contemporaries? This is especially troubling after Evy realises exactly what is at stake.