Upgrade @blakecrouch1 #ballantine books @JanBelisle @absltmom

“What do you call a heart that is simultaneously full and breaking? Maybe there’s no word for it, but for some reason, it makes me think of rain falling through sunlight.”

Jan’s review

The time is in the not-too-distant, somewhat dystopian future where gene technology has been developed to the point where nearly anything is possible. Logan Ramsay, an agent with the Gene Protection Agency (GPA), works diligently to prevent illegal gene technology from being used for nefarious purposes. He’s rather average, working his job, a family man who deeply loves his wife and daughter who attempts to keep his head down low due to a tragedy in his past. During a raid on an illegal lab his genome is hacked, infected with a virus that results in an “upgrade” that results in mental and physical enhancements.  

At first glance this sounds great, right? Who among us couldn’t use a bit of an upgrade? I know my memory could use one. But be careful of what you wish for. What happens to the essence of what it is to be human? 

I won’t give away any more details of the plot, as it’s such fun to discover for yourself. But there are reasons that Logan has been chosen for the upgrade, and the repercussions have far-reaching consequences. Those who think the way to save humanity by upgrading all humans, will be pitted against those who think you can’t save humanity by destroying humanity. Logan is an easy character to root for as you watch him make difficult and personally devastating choices. 

There is a heavy dose of science, which readers will either find fascinating or will gloss over. Whichever you choose to do doesn’t matter as this is as much a crime thriller as it is sci-fi, and is enjoyable either way.  I can’t say if the science is accurate, but it certainly made for a thrilling, suspenseful tale. The author takes familiar themes rooted in reality and gives them his own fresh twist. But the science and philosophical questions never overwhelm good storytelling.

I loved Dark Matter, and with this book, I’m officially a super-fan of the author’s. This was a buddy read with Marialyce, and one we both highly recommended! Do check out her review.

* I received a digital review copy via NetGalley, all opinions are my own.

* I also listened to the audio and Henry Levya did an excellent job narrating

Marialyce’s review

Imagine yourself being better? You are smarter, faster, needing less sleep, a very powerful machine. Is this the way the human race will eventually be, or are we doomed and the homo sapiens species will go out of existence in time.

This is the dilemma presented to us in Blake Crouch’s book, The Upgrade. Our main character, Logan Ramsey, the son of a well-known scientist mother, finds himself a person who has been upgraded. Surely his dead mother, the vile perpetrator of a virus that devastated the earth, can’t be behind this new state of humans and yet?

As is everything, untested well by scientists, anxious to permeate their findings. this new state of humans can also be detrimental to many. His sister becomes involved as she too, is a victim of an upgrade and she sees nothing but benefits coming from this. However, Logan carries a much divergent view and sees this as dangerous, ominous, and threatening. It arrives at a point where upgraded brother versus upgraded sister in the battle for all humanity to survive.

Filled with action, the edge of your seat kind, Logan strives to bring about the destruction of the upgrade genome change. Bereft of his family, because he fears for their survival, Logan takes on many as he finds those he trusted might not be the ones he needs now.

Thoroughly enjoyable with lots of salient points especially about our human’s capacity to feel empathy, I so enjoyed this story and thought its relevance in today’s world spot on.Thank you to Blake Crouch, and NetGalley for bringing this book to me. It published in July.

Jan and I so enjoyed this book and felt we spent our worthwhile reading time spending hours with this story.


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