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Upgrade
Cover of Upgrade
Upgrade
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
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.
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.
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About the Author-
  • Blake Crouch is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His novels include Recursion, Dark Matter, and the Wayward Pines trilogy, which was adapted into a television series for FOX. Crouch also co-created the TNT show Good Behavior, based on his Letty Dobesh novellas. He lives in Colorado.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from May 16, 2022
    In this nail-biting near-future science thriller from bestseller Crouch (Recursion), the world is still recovering from the Great Starvation, which killed hundreds of millions of people, the unintended consequence of the hubris of Miriam Ramsay, the discoverer of a “revolutionary, biological DNA modifier system.” Seeking to eliminate a leaf blight decimating a rice strain in China, Ramsay inserted a virus into locusts intended to infect the rice to create increased resistance to the disease. Unexpectedly, the modified insects ended up targeting other crops, depleting the world’s food supply. That catastrophe led to draconian measures, including harsh restrictions on biological research. Now, Ramsay’s son, Logan, who assisted her before the Great Starvation, has found a new purpose working for America’s Gene Protection Agency, tracking genetic scientists deemed risks. During a raid on an illegal lab, Logan becomes infected by something that hacks his genome, transforming him in frightening ways that seem to match his mother’s vision of an upgraded version of homo sapiens, whose enhanced intelligence supposedly will preserve the species. Crouch fully develops his alarming concept and its implications along with delivering masterful characterizations. This is the best yet from a creative and gifted author. Agent: David Hale Smith, InkWell Management.

  • Booklist

    May 15, 2022
    Logan Ramsey's mother, Miriam, was a brilliant scientist who changed the world. Unfortunately, not for the better. Her DNA research and rogue attempt to modify crops via virus mutations led to ""The Great Starvation"" and the death of millions. It also led to the creation of the Gene Protection Agency, where Logan now works as a special agent. When a raid on an illegal gene lab goes wrong, Logan finds himself intentionally modified: exposed to a virus that enhances his mental and physical capabilities, turning him into a super-human. Was this his mother's plan all along, to create a new species of humans? Crouch's latest mind-bending thriller is well-paced, and his characters are realistic and interesting. While there is a bit of science jargon, it fits in perfectly with the action and won't bog down readers unfamiliar with DNA technology. This is an excellent follow-up to Crouch's other dark-science novels, Dark Matter (2016) and Recursion (2019), and will appeal to readers interested in climate fiction or superhero origin stories, as well as those who enjoy smart thrillers.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Kirkus

    May 15, 2022
    When a government agent is exposed to a virus that modifies his genetic code, he must consider whether to share these enhancements with the world or eradicate the virus. Logan Ramsay works for the Gene Protection Agency in a world where genetic modification has wreaked havoc on the ecosystem. His mother, a brilliant scientist, was responsible for the "Great Starvation" nearly two decades before, when she tried to improve the resistance of a rice plant to a particular virus and instead devastated the world's rice supply. Two hundred million people died, and Logan went to prison for his role in the catastrophe; his mother took her own life. Now he investigates and takes down people who are running "dark gene lab[s]" and otherwise seeking to change the human genome. During a raid, Logan is exposed to a virus, and while the initial side effects seem to ease after a few days, he soon begins to notice unusual things: the fact that he can read incredibly complex books in just a few hours and retain all of the information; the fact that he can beat his daughter in chess, which hasn't happened for years; the way he can remember every moment of his life in perfect detail. Government agents lock him up and run test after test as Logan becomes stronger and more intelligent by the day. It is revealed that, before her death, Logan's mother promised to release "a viral gene drive" that would offer a "significant upgrade" to the human species. When someone arrives to break him out of the containment facility, Logan will be forced to make a decision: allow the genetic upgrade to spread through the human species, even though a certain percentage of the population will die horrible deaths, or destroy the virus. High-octane action, some moral complexity, and a surprisingly emotional ending elevate this novel. Recommended--even for reluctant science fiction readers.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    July 2, 2022

    Crouch's latest thriller (following Recursion) takes on the practical and ethical concerns of genetic modification. Twenty years ago, Logan Ramsay's mother, a renowned scientist who pioneered technology to modify DNA, sought to rid a rice plant of bacteria using her genetic system, but instead it ruined much of the world's food supply, causing a Great Starvation that led to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. Now out of prison for his role in the catastrophe, Logan is working for the Gene Protection Agency, where he hunts for rogue genetic engineers. In the course of his work, Logan gets exposed to a virus whose chief side effect is an "upgrade" to his human genome that presents the most flawless version of himself: a sharper memory, a rapid reading rate, an analytical mind like a computer. His superiors want him contained, but there are others who want to break Logan out to access his new genetic code, and his family history has him asking a key question: Is it worth potentially destroying humanity in order to perfect it? VERDICT This accessible, swiftly paced, thought-provoking novel should garner Crouch's widest readership yet. Recommended for fans of science fiction, crime, or spy thrillers.--Michael Pucci

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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