Logan Ramsay learns the hard way that sometimes evolution can be a real downgrade if you’re not careful.
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How far would you go to improve yourself? Would you risk changes so radical that you end up becoming unrecognizable to yourself? How far would you go to improve the world? Even with the best of intentions, would you risk putting your ideals into action until they take on a life of their own? These intriguing questions are at the heart of Blake Crouch’s new novel.
Upgrade is the story of Logan Ramsay, the son of an ambitious geneticist whose goal of improving upon nature instead killed hundreds of millions in the Great Starvation. Logan lives his life in the shadow of this cataclysm, grappling with the loss of his mother, now dead, as well as his own role in her ill-fated experiment. He takes up work with the Gene Protection Agency, doing his best to infiltrate and dismantle unlawful genetic experiments. But when Ramsay is exposed to a virus during a raid that begins to alter him in strange ways, he becomes a target of his own agency and is pulled into a world of intrigue that threatens to shake the world even more than his mother’s legacy.
One of the things that struck me about Upgrade wasn’t just the thrilling action scenes (of which Crouch is a master) or the engaging plot, but the real family at the center of this novel, a crucial inclusion that makes the book’s contemplations of our humanity resonate. Is ability more essential than compassion? Is the will to change the world more important than the capacity to listen to it? This book will no doubt cause readers to carry its questions with them long after the last page has been turned.
“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.