ARC Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Title: Upgrade

Author: Blake Crouch

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Genre: Science Fiction

Age Group: Adult

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, blood, suicide, death of a parent, kidnapping, torture

Rating: ★★★★

Book Links: Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::

Goodreads Synopsis

The mind-blowing new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and Recursion

“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.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! All opinions contained within are my own.

Science fiction, though long neglected by me, is one of my favorite genres. I love the gaze into the future and seeing how it could all go wondrously right or horribly wrong. That being said, I find myself hesitant to pick up sci-fi because the ones I gravitate towards tend to be thick and I am intimidated 😂 Then, I learned of Blake Crouch and his blend of sci-fi and thrillers. Two of my favorite genres mashed into one book? Yes, please! That’s why I was ecstatic when I received the e-ARC for Crouch’s latest release, Upgrade. I’m happy to report that it hit the spot!

This novel follows the story of a man named Logan Ramsay. Logan has lived his entire life in the rather infamous shadow of his genius mother. So much so that he spent time in prison after a genetic modification she designed ended up killing over two million people. Logan now works for the government, hunting down rogue scientists who continue to tamper with DNA. One day, while on the job, he is injured and his very genes are hacked. Now Logan is evolving and that puts everything he cares about at risk.

Wow, this was quite the ride! This was exactly what I needed to get my sci-fi hit without bogging myself down. It was quick, entertaining, and still rather thought provoking. I mean, when you’re discussing gene modification and changing the very core of what makes someone who they are, you’re bound to bring up some interesting topics. I would have maybe liked to spend more time on exploring some of them, but then this would have been a much longer book, haha. I thought the author did a great job of balancing action, high stakes, and introspection on some heavy topics. It certainly kept me engaged from page one until the very end!

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this story, but that would have fallen flat if I hadn’t liked the characters just as much. I was completely invested in Logan’s story, even if there were moments when I wanted to shake some sense into him. I thought he was a fascinating character and a great conduit through which the reader could start parsing their own feelings about the abilities of science and the future of the planet. Though the other characters in the novel didn’t feel as whole as Logan, did I still thought Crouch did an excellent job of making them all come to life on the page.

Overall, this was a thrilling story that also speaks to some very relevant topics, like climate change. I was absolutely immersed in the story and found myself, on more than one occasion, reading way past my bedtime. That is always the mark of a good book to me!


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