Val's Pick: "Upgrade" by Blake Crouch
Ever since Blake Crouch’s book Dark Matter was published in 2016, he has been on my “authors to read” list. For some reason, I never got around to reading his work - until now. His most recent novel, Upgrade, made its way into my hands and I am so glad it did.
The novel takes place in the not-so-distant future when gene editing has become so common that a special government agency has been created to prevent scientists from going too far. After a raid on a gene editing lab goes wrong, Agent Logan Ramsay is changed. He has always been painfully aware that his intelligence had its limits, but after the raid it seems like those limits have disappeared. Logan is different - he’s smarter, more observant, stronger. But while all of these changes seem to be a good thing, Logan is suspicious. Who was running the lab? Are the changes harmful? Was he targeted to receive this "upgrade"?
The premise sounds intimidating and may cause some readers to question whether or not it’s a book they would enjoy. Upgrade is science fiction (heavy on the science) but with the pacing of a thriller. Crouch does an outstanding job of explaining the science so that those of us who lack scientific knowledge understand what is going on and can follow the fast-paced action. Reading Upgrade reminded me of how I felt when I read Dan Brown’s Inferno years ago.
Upgrade is the type of book I enjoy but rarely find - a thriller that makes me wonder about some of our world’s bigger questions.