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Upgrade Review: Back-of-Book Description

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.

Upgrade Review: My Thoughts

It’s worked out that for the last few years I have read one Blake Crouch book per year. I started with Recursion in 2021, which I found on Book of the Month, and then read Dark Matter the summer of 2022 (click on those titles to check out their reviews). So when I saw Upgrade come out almost a year ago, I knew I needed to scoop it up.

I sure hope I can keep this pace going, because I thoroughly enjoy his writing style and the thought-provoking storylines he comes up with.

Upgrade was just as good as his other books had been! I was immediately sucked into the fictional, futuristic world he creates and I wanted to spend all my free time reading.

The setting was really cool and slightly different than his others. In this book he does not tell us what year it is but it seemed like it was maybe in 2100s or even later. He described American cities in ways that it was clear a lot of progress had happened in certain areas (like architecture and stuff) but that a lot had degraded in other areas, such as rising sea levels and droughts.

There were also apparently a lot of advances in medical science and applications. Without giving anything away, I’ll just say it seemed like a real classic science fiction book with wild and exciting ideas about what will be possible in the future.

But backing those wild ideas up is also some real, obviously researched science. I absolutely love how much I learn when I read his books! It’s fun and cool to know that while I’m being entertained, I’m also taking in new information about how the brain or body works.

The characters themselves were also very well written. Each having their own motivations, backgrounds, and fears. I liked the way they were connected to each other and the tension that was built by their relationship and conflicting goals.

I found tons of quotes that stood out! The writing is just so enjoyable and even though the premise if futuristic, there are still a lot of relevant controversies and ideas. Read it with a friend and then discuss you’re opinions – it’ll make great conversation!

 
 
Favorite Quotes from Upgrade:

“We had gotten so much right. And too much wrong.”

“It is a supremely cruel thing to have your mind conjure a desire which it is functionally unable to realize.”

“We are not rational beings. We seek comfort rather than a clear-eyed stare into reality.”

“The idea that the brain speeds up during stressful situations is a myth. When a person is afraid, their amygdala becomes more active, laying down extra memories that coincide with the normal memories of everyday life. It’s the richer, additional memories that give the illusion of time slowing down.”

“Life never really goes the way you want or expect. Usually, even getting exactly what you want turns out not to have been what you really wanted. So…if you ever find a sliver of happiness and peace, just be thankful and live. Don’t reach for more, because a sliver is more than most people find.”

“If nothing changes, we will die off for the stupidest reason imaginable – because we refused, for so many childish reasons, to do the obvious things that would save us.”

“We contained within us the potential for great evil, but also for great good. And we were capable of so much more than this.”

“If there’s a solution, it has to lie in rescuing us from our ambivalence. Our apathy.”

Upgrade Review: In Conclusion

Just like the other two books by Blake Crouch, Upgrade is an incredible masterpiece of science, suspense and emotional and intense situations that leaves you thinking for a long time. 4.5 stars from me! The only negative aspect being that I’m not 100% sure I liked the ending…it seemed like it might have been a weird move for the character.

In any case! I think this would be an awesome book club pick, as people are sure to have conflicting viewpoints that would lead to awesome discussion.

I would recommend this to people who like science fiction and thrillers. If you’re not sure if you like sci0fi, give this one a shot anyways – you won’t regret it.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this review of Upgrade – feel free to share! Check out my other book reviews here and pin or share your favorite quotes below. 

“We had gotten so much right. And too much wrong.”
“If there’s a solution, it has to lie in rescuing us from our ambivalence. Our apathy.”
“It is a supremely cruel thing to have your mind conjure a desire which it is functionally unable to realize.”
“The idea that the brain speeds up during stressful situations is a myth. When a person is afraid, their amygdala becomes more active, laying down extra memories that coincide with the normal memories of everyday life. It’s the richer, additional memories that give the illusion of time slowing down.”
“If nothing changes, we will die off for the stupidest reason imaginable – because we refused, for so many childish reasons, to do the obvious things that would save us.”
“Life never really goes the way you want or expect. Usually, even getting exactly what you want turns out not to have been what you really wanted. So…if you ever find a sliver of happiness and peace, just be thankful and live. Don’t reach for more, because a sliver is more than most people find.”
“We are not rational beings. We seek comfort rather than a clear-eyed stare into reality.”
“We contained within us the potential for great evil, but also for great good. And we were capable of so much more than this.”
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