Logan Ramsay works for the Genetic Protection Agency in an effort to tamper his guilt from an incident 20 years ago. After a raid turned wrong, Logan begins to feel himself changing. And he finds himself asking what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
“You are the next step in human evolution.”
At first, Logan Ramsay isn’t sure if anything’s different. He just feels a little . . . sharper. Better able to concentrate. Better at multitasking. Reading a bit faster, memorizing better, needing less sleep.
But before long, he can’t deny it: Something’s happening to his brain. To his body. He’s starting to see the world, and those around him—even those he loves most—in whole new ways.
The truth is, Logan’s genome has been hacked. And there’s a reason he’s been targeted for this upgrade. A reason that goes back decades to the darkest part of his past, and a horrific family legacy.
Worse still, what’s happening to him is just the first step in a much larger plan, one that will inflict the same changes on humanity at large—at a terrifying cost.
Because of his new abilities, Logan’s the one person in the world capable of stopping what’s been set in motion. But to have a chance at winning this war, he’ll have to become something other than himself. Maybe even something other than human.
And even as he’s fighting, he can’t help wondering: what if humanity’s only hope for a future really does lie in engineering our own evolution?
Intimate in scale yet epic in scope, Upgrade is an intricately plotted, lightning-fast tale that charts one man’s thrilling transformation, even as it asks us to ponder the limits of our humanity—and our boundless potential.
I would not call myself much of a science fiction reader, but thanks to Book of the Month, I picked up Blake Crouch’s previous two books – Dark Matter and Recursion. I adored both books for their incorporation of science and their underlying questions about humanity. Upgrade did not disappoint and returned to these themes.
Upgrade is a story that takes place in a semi-dystopian future and follows Logan Ramsay, the son of an infamous scientist who had a huge impact on the world. To repent and appease his guilt about the past, Logan works for the Gene Protection Agency, apprehending anyone who might be involved in gene editing or unapproved genetics research. But of course, something happens and everything goes awry. I do not want to spoil anything, so I will leave it at that.
Crouch’s writing was engrossing and enjoyable. I felt for Logan and grew frustrated at obstacles he encountered. I found Upgrade to be action-packed and fast-paced. Even if I did not feel immediately immersed in the story, which I did, I would have kept quickly flipping the pages simply based upon the action and mystery. I also loved that Crouch slipped in some sly critiques of current companies. It made my heart happy to see some shade thrown at Zuck.
I found Upgrade to be more science heavy compared to what I remember of his two previous books. You can still understand what is happening without a life science or biochemistry background as Crouch does a great job simplifying and explaining complex terms and ideas. However, you will definitely more fully comprehend and appreciate the story if you understand basic genetics. I do not want that to dissuade anyone from reading! I think if you have read Crouch’s previous books and had no comprehension problems, you will be able to follow Upgrade as well.
Upgrade did not mess with my mind like Recursion, but this book definitely made me think and I continue to ponder its questions. I cannot emphasize enough how thought-provoking this book is. It is definitely the perfect buddy read!
My only real critique of the book is that I wish it was slowed down just a bit to absorb everything. However, this may just be a result of the pace at which I read Upgrade. Ultimately, it makes me excited to read it again.
For me the mark of a great book is one that makes me both think and feel. Without a doubt, Blake Crouch accomplished both with Upgrade. I highly recommend it and hope a ton of people will read and think about the questions asked. But if you believe that GMOs are bad, you probably want to avoid this book. IYKYK
Science Fiction; Mystery/Thriller
July 12, 2022
Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Ballantine Books. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.