Upgrade by Blake Crouch #bookreview #scifi #thriller #genetics

“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 may enjoy some of Crouch’s books more than others, but he’s never disappointed me and is easily one of my auto-buy authors. I always know I’m in for a mind-bending, thrill ride of a read.

Logan Ramsay’s genius scientist mother was responsible for the starvation of two hundred million people after an engineered virus went horribly wrong. He was also on the team, and as a way of paying penance, Logan now works for the Gene Protection Agency responsible for policing gene editing. After an explosion at a raid, Logan learns his genome has been hacked. He’s received some kind of genetic upgrade resulting in him being better at, well, everything.

I won’t reveal too much to avoid spoilers, but trust me when I say you’ll feel a lack of intelligence at certain points of this novel. Crouch dives deep into genetic detail, which I didn’t completely understand of course, but I’ve always had an interest in the topic since high school biology. Although much of the science may leave you scratching your head, you’ll get the gist of what’s happening and that’s the important thing. Upgrade may be a sci-fi novel, but it focuses on real world problems and makes points that may keep you up at night.

This would be a perfect book club selection and will spark discussion about what it means to be human, the human genome, and rationality versus emotion. The story requires the reader’s full attention, and you’ll find yourself contemplating some of the ideas within it. I was thrilled at the inclusion of an epilogue, and it presents a highly thought-provoking theory that’s still bouncing around in my head.

I can’t recommend Crouch’s books enough. They’re a must for sci-fi fans, and I can’t wait for his next riveting concept.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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