NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “If Michael Crichton had written a superhero novel, it would look a lot like Upgrade.”—The New York Times Book Review
“You don’t so much sympathize with the main character as live inside his skin.”—DIANA GABALDON, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series
“Mysterious, fascinating, and deeply moving—exploring the very nature of what it means to be human.”—ALEX MICHAELIDES, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient and The Maiden
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Time, She Reads
The mind-blowing new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter and Recursion—currently in development as a motion picture at Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners
“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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Nobody does imaginative and chilling techno-thrillers like Blake Crouch—and this is his best since his breakthrough, Dark Matter. Set in a disturbingly realistic near future, Upgrade draws us into a world where private companies are experimenting with illegal genetic engineering to combat a looming environmental disaster. Things get very strange when Logan Ramsay, a low-level government scientist investigating these rogue scientists, gets showered with altered DNA in what seems like a lab accident. A fast and furious blend of hard science fiction, thrilling action adventure, and a splash of smart comedy, Crouch’s novel is an absolute blast.
In this nail-biting near-future science thriller from bestseller Crouch (Recursion), the world is still recovering from the Great Starvation, which killed hundreds of millions of people, the unintended consequence of the hubris of Miriam Ramsay, the discoverer of a "revolutionary, biological DNA modifier system." Seeking to eliminate a leaf blight decimating a rice strain in China, Ramsay inserted a virus into locusts intended to infect the rice to create increased resistance to the disease. Unexpectedly, the modified insects ended up targeting other crops, depleting the world's food supply. That catastrophe led to draconian measures, including harsh restrictions on biological research. Now, Ramsay's son, Logan, who assisted her before the Great Starvation, has found a new purpose working for America's Gene Protection Agency, tracking genetic scientists deemed risks. During a raid on an illegal lab, Logan becomes infected by something that hacks his genome, transforming him in frightening ways that seem to match his mother's vision of an upgraded version of homo sapiens, whose enhanced intelligence supposedly will preserve the species. Crouch fully develops his alarming concept and its implications along with delivering masterful characterizations. This is the best yet from a creative and gifted author.
Great book! loved the story and ideas it provoked. Couldn’t put it down. Another great entry in Blake’s growing catalog of fun and entertaining rides! If you like Andy Weir and Blake Crough go read this book!
Scary but enjoyable peek into the far too near Future.
Crouch has definitely mastered the Art of the Page Turner. With this book as with the Pines he can engage the Reader with his plot and characters without being cute or cheesy.
The good thing about Upgrade is that it is a Sci-Fin Novel that dangles enough Genetic and Weaponry arcana to establish its street cred with lovers of that genre without bogging the rest of us down and keeping us from enjoying the suspense. And there is plenty of that. While I found the finale less than satisfying, I enjoyed the journey and the geography it traversed. I do wish that he had left the sentiments of the epilogue to the Reader so I’ll limit my praise to Four Stars. ****
No Spoilers here.
This is my third Blake Crouch novel I own and have read - I am literally writing this minutes after having finished this novel - and he continues to be one of my favorites out there. I do not have many sci-fi novels, and I am as of recently exploring a little more with book genres, but Crouch's Dark Matter was my introduction to sci-fi and I have been hooked ever since. I love how well he continues to make these sci-fi novels while each still being very independent from one another. This story really stands out to me compared to his others a great way, and actually reminds me of classics like 1984 and Brave New World; This novel has a very relevant theme that while fictionized, seems extremely relevant and real in today's world and where our world is headed. Crouch definitely did his research and had great contacts to help him with this novel. This novel very much makes me feel like it is a very real future for humanity rather than a completely fictionalized story; What is even scarier is it doesn't seem like this is a far-distant future. Regardless, I highly recommend this book, especially those with any type of science background. LOVED.