Upgrade by Blake Crouch

Breakthroughs in Genetic Engineering bring trouble to the inhabitants of an alternate Earth. Logan Ramsay is literally the only person capable of saving humanity.

Upgrade by Blake Crouch
Photo by National Cancer Institute / Unsplash

Set in an alternate reality, sometimes in the future, the world has fallen into a massive famine and genetically related maladies. It's in this reality that we meet our protagonist, Logan Ramsay. Logan works for a government agency called the Gene Protection Agency (GPA) working to squash the myriad of illegal industries that have sprung up after genetic engineering and manipulation of all kinds have been banned. It's on one of these raids that Logan has an experience that puts him on a quest to literally save the world.

What I liked

  1. Although Logan had plenty of reason to feel guilty about the past, it didn't feel overdone
  2. Logan's emotional transformation as it pertains to his family was believable
  3. The action sequences were a lot of fun to read
  4. The science seemed plausible and the societal reprocussions were interesting to contemplate

What I didn't like

  1. Some elements seemed reused from past books (colored shirts from Dark Matter)
  2. Kara seemed too driven and unwilling to even hear Logan's POV

Overall impressions

I really liked how well thought out this book was. The science seems well researched and any scientific leaps were well within my ability to suspend belief (people with more knowledge of genetics might disagree). While I would like to believe our actual society would behave differently after the crop failure, but I honestly don't think we would. This is both good and bad. Good for Blake in his ability to feel realistic. Bad because of what that says about our society. In the end, I would definitely recommend this book to people who like near future science fiction as well as those who enjoy speculative fiction and contemplating societal impacts of new tech.

 Book cover of Upgrade by Blake Crouch
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