Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Quick Pick Book Review: Upgrade, by Blake Crouch

Quick Pick Book Review: Upgrade, by Blake Crouch
  • Opening lines: We found Henrik Soren at a wine bar in the international terminal, thirty minutes from boarding a hyperjet to Tokyo.

    Before tonight, I had only seen him in INTERPOL photographs and CCTV footage. In the flesh, he was less impressive
    five and a half feet in his artificially distressed Saint Laurent sneakers with a designer hoodie hiding most of his face. He was sitting at the end of the bar with a book and a bottle of Krug.
  • Reason I picked up the book: I read Recursion by Blake Crouch for my book club, and really enjoyed it.
  • And what's this book about?
    “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.
  • Recommended for: Anyone who enjoys sci-fi or dystopian books, or books about gene editing.
  • Favorite paragraph: Scythe was the revolutionary, biological DNA modifier system—now extremely illegal—discovered and patented by my mother, Miriam Ramsay. It had been a seismic leap forward that left the previous generations of technologies—ZFNs, TALENs, CRISPR-Cas9—gasping in the dust. Scythe had ushered in a new era of gene editing and delivery, one that brought about catastrophic results. Which is why getting caught using or selling it for germline modification—the making of a new organism—came with a mandatory thirty-year prison sentence.
  • Something to know: I would love to see this book made into a movie—definitely would be very exciting, and I could probably come up with a dream cast if I thought about it, as well.
  • What I would have changed: Not sure I would have changed anything. 
  • Overall rating: 4 stars out of 5.
  • Where can I find this book? Click here to pre-order on Amazon—it will be out on July 13, 2022.

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