Blake Crouch is fast becoming an auto-buy author for me. His edgy sci-fi thrillers take a concept you think you understand and turn it completely on its head in a way which is truly unputdownable. Team that with authentic, sympathetic characters, and you’ve got a winner in my eyes.
This one is about, well upgrades. Upgrading human beings to be exact – both our physical and mental selves.
Our protagonist Logan lives in a world where advanced genetic modifications beyond our imagination have been created. With devastating consequences. And then they’ve been stopped. Now, he works for the Gene Protection Agency, an organisation that hunts down and stops geneticists. Until, one day, he’s caught in a trap, and inadvertently receives his own modification. An upgrade which turns out to elevate him beyond his wildest dreams.
But there’s more – the upgrade was implanted by someone from his past. Someone who thinks that humankind is bound for extinction, unless this upgrade is unleashed on the masses. Newly highly intelligent Logan has a choice, will he follow their ambition? Or choose to stop what is an unnatural alteration of the human self almost beyond recognition?
Phew, that felt like quite a lot to pack into a plot summary! There’s a lot going on in this story, and it goes at a very fast pace. In places, the author’s love of science shines through – some of it may go over your head (it certainly did for me), but you can still appreciate the fact that it’s there. For me, the writing felt reminiscent of Andy Weir’s flippant, quirky geekiness in places.
But there’s also a lot of non-stop action. As Logan gains what is essentially superhuman powers, this book almost runs on fast-forward as the reader needs to process things as quickly as our super-intelligent narrator. It’s a fast-paced, scientific popcorn thriller and I’d be surprised if this didn’t get picked up for a movie. Read it, and enjoy the race to save the world from its own stupidity…or intelligence?
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 4/5.