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Upgrade by Blake Crouch
Sci-fi

Upgrade

3peat author

Blake Crouch is officially a 3-time author at BOTM, which is a pretty big deal!

by Blake Crouch

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Quick take

Logan Ramsay learns the hard way that sometimes evolution can be a real downgrade if you’re not careful.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_WellKnownAuthor

    Famous author

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Action

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Brainy

    Brainy

Synopsis

“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.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of Upgrade.
Upgrade

1

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.

I commandeered the stool beside him and set my badge between us. It bore the insignia of a bald eagle whose wings enveloped the double helix of a DNA molecule. For a long moment, nothing happened. I wasn’t even sure he’d seen it gleaming under the hanging globe lights, but then he turned his head and looked at me.

I flashed a smile.

He closed his book. If he was nervous, he didn’t show it. Just stared at me through Scandinavian blue eyes.

“Hi, Henrik,” I said. “I’m Agent Ramsay. I work for the GPA.”

“What am I supposed to have done?”

He was born thirty-three years ago in Oslo but had been educated in London, where his mother was a diplomat. I could hear that city around the edges of his voice.

“Why don’t we talk about that somewhere else?”

The bartender was watching us now, having clocked my badge. Probably worried about getting the bill paid.

“My flight’s about to board,” Soren said.

“You aren’t going to Tokyo. Not tonight.”

The muscles in his jaw tightened and something flickered in his eyes. He tucked his chin-length blond hair behind his ears and glanced around the wine bar. And then beyond it, at the travelers moving through the concourse.

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Why I love it

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.

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Member ratings (18,740)

  • Amanda S.

    Cedar Grove, WI

    Absolutely loved the technical jargon, which there was a lot of. The plot was well developed and I really enjoyed the development of characters. Overall a quick read for me ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.Highly recommend

  • Anne C.

    Oklahoma City, OK

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this book. THIS BOOK! Realistic enough to make you a litttttle uncomfortable. With just enough sci-fi to keep the nightmares at bay. Blake Crouch is an impeccable writer. Bravo again sir.

  • Toni T.

    Nashville, TN

    Another stellar book by Crouch! This story not only took place in a dystopian future, but it included elements of family, love, and compassion for strangers. Read this in one day! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Phoebe W.

    Salt Lake City, UT

    Well-paced, action packed, fascinating, thought provoking… & scary! Such a great combo! I read it so fast. A bit macho man at times… I’m not a gun gal so the weaponry bits lost me. But the science????????

  • Allison K.

    Delray Beach, FL

    “I know you’re trying to do the right thing, but you can’t put this knowledge back into the box.”Favorite line of the book.Great book to make your thoughts spin a bit about our own future as a species

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