“We don’t have an intelligence problem. We have a compassion problem. That, more than any other single factor, is what’s driving us toward extinction.“
There’s something different about Logan Ramsey. He’s physically stronger, processes information faster, better at multitasking, better at concentration. He’s just better at everything all of a sudden, after a raid gone wrong. After Ramsey has the doctor check his genome, he discovers that it’s been hacked and almost everything about him has been upgraded. There’s a reason he has been targeted for this upgrade, something that has to do with the darkest part of his history, why he went to prison and his dark family legacy. Worse still, what is happening to him is a sign of what’s to come. He’s a practice run in a more coordinated effort to upgrade humanity as a whole and only him has the ability now to stop this overreach from going forward.
“We were a monstrous, thoughtful, selfish, sensitive, fearful, ambitious, loving, hateful, hopeful species. We contained within us the potential for great evil, but also for great good. And we were capable of so much more than this.”
This is really a superhero story. If you like superhero stories and you enjoy science fiction, this is a perfect alloy. Blake Crouch writes really simple and accessible science fiction for everybody regardless of your genre preference. I always tell people, if they want science fiction lite, then Crouch is the best place to start. This book also made me think of what I would do if I was in the main character’s shoes. I think I was torn about this book because I genuinely don’t know who I would support in real life. I thought the supposed villain had a very good point about upgrading humanity and if not for the side effects of the upgrade, I would have been on her side. But I also understand why the main character thought – when will it be enough? Cool, radicate a few gene causing diseases in kids, change a few things but when will it ever be enough? It’s a little like plastic surgery, you get one, you want them all.
“What if this isn’t the solution? What if you end up killing a billion people for no reason? What if you just end up creating a world of Miriam Ramsays—all convinced they know what’s best, all capable of inflicting unimaginable harm if they’re wrong? What if you create a bunch of people who are just drastically better at what they already were. Soldiers. Criminals. Politicians. Capitalists.”
Crouch had really big questions in this book but I think this book pales in comparison to his other works. Upgrade was more straightforward when I usually love Crouch for the twists and turns his books bring. I do think the author presented us a possible solution to the problem that is humanity and I think he chose a good answer but ultimately I was disappointed as a whole. But I will say that I think this is a good entry into the Crouch world if this is something you’re interested in doing. It is easy to read, moves at a fast pace and doesn’t get bogged down in the science. This book ultimately read like a summer blockbuster, like it was written to be adapted. I suspect that’s why he made it so straightforward. We’ll see if it ever comes to the big screen. Anyway, I really recommend this book. We also have another Crouch book review that you should check out. I gave this one 3 stars on Goodreads.
Do you enjoy science fiction? Are you going to give this one a chance? Let me know in the comments.