Special thanks to Penguin Random House and NetGalley for providing an advanced copy of Blake Crouch's newest novel, Upgrade, to read in exchange for an honest review. I was so honored they reached out to me to review this title, and this science fiction had the perfect blend of suspense and literary fiction to hook me right from the beginning! Coming in July!
After a raid where Logan Ramsay was infected with some type of virus, there do not seem to be any consequences. Yet Logan Ramsay is changing. He's noticed a difference in his mental abilities for weeks now. When his employer notices, it sets in motion a chain of events where humanity's future literally hangs in the balance. Can Logan protect humanity's future?
I picked this up, blinked, and it was over. This book is so completely engaging. I think it took me two days to read? Maybe less. Probably less. I had to know what happened. Yes this book is technically a science fiction novel, but it also had major elements of suspense with moral dilemmas, which I found absolutely fascinating. I could not get enough of Blake Crouch's writing and his perfectly timed cliff hangers. One aspect I found really neat was the way some of the text was formatted on the page. It reminded me of The Matrix, and it really added to the vibe of the story.
This is definitely a plot based novel where the emphasis is on what is happening situationally rather than internally with the characters. While Logan doesn't seem to show much growth in his character, he does show it in several other ways. In my opinion, one of the biggest ways he shows growth is his relationship with his family. The other being a lot of the changes in his mental abilities due to the virus he caught.
If you've read the official synopsis (find it here on Goodreads), you'll know that the virus Logan catches delivers a Scythe code into his system to rewrite his DNA. While Crouch does continue sharing more science, that's where my scientific comprehension basically ended. As a result, I did find myself skimming over some of the more science heavy passages. Yet I didn't find that my lack of understanding impeded my enjoyment of the overall storyline, and still found it very approachable.
I really enjoyed this book and I was so pleased with the ending! There was one aspect I wish could have been different, but I also get why the author wrote it the way he did. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you enjoy plot based novels with suspense and major moral dilemmas, this book is for you!
Content Warnings: pandemics, violence, death