Since I reading and loving Dark Matter, I have been a Blake Crouch fan. I love how his sci-fi stories stretch my mind with their scientific theories while pulling on my emotions with an enduring love story.
Upgrade has elements of this winning formula, which is present in both Dark Matter and Recursion. However, Upgrade is much more technical, especially at the beginning than I remember either of his two previous hits being.
In Upgrade, Logan Ramsey, who has spent his life in the shadows of his brilliant mother, has his DNA hacked. Suddenly, he knows what it’s like to have the sharpest mind around – and he experiences the danger, boredom, disassociation, and responsibility that come with possessing such a high intellect.
Divided into three parts, Upgrade went in wildly different directions than I expected. Logan’s character also evolved in unpredictable ways throughout the story. One of the book’s strengths is Logan’s character development and how his backstory contributes to his choices along the way.
With many running scenes and never feeling sure about who Logan could trust, this book gave me major Bourne Identity vibes – so much so that at one point, I realized I was picturing Logan as Matt Damon. This is not necessarily a bad thing but I felt like some of the adrenaline-pumping action scenes were written with the big screen in mind, instead of being essential to the overall plot.
In the end, this book has the reader questioning the most essential elements of what it means to be human. While it did not live up to Dark Matter for me, Upgrade is a compelling, well-written must-read for sci-fi fans who love a world-saving story headlined by an ordinary family guy.