Upcoming Fiction: 'Upgrade' by Blake Crouch

The Fiction Addiction

Upgrade(cover art from the publisher)

I was excited to get Blake Crouch's new novel Upgrade, because I'd enjoyed both Dark Matter and Recursion. This is another science fiction adventure, based on a thoughtful, futuristic what-if.

I wasn't into Upgrade in the beginning, mostly because Average Guy Who Gets Superstrength has been done and done and done. Logan has a Peter Parker transformation, where he's just a little quicker, a little stronger, and everything is just a little easier for him. If this feels like extremely well-covered ground, don't worry, that's just the opening, and the novel develops this character in new directions and asks interesting new questions next.

First, we quickly discover that Logan's not a random guy.  There's an important reason our Logan is the one who received this upgrade, and it starts to lead to a wider world of Logan's family secrets and the world's scientific past. I bought the worldbuilding from the start, because it's a near-future that's not so far from our own world.

Logan's not the only one who's gotten the genetic boost, either, but he and his sister have opposite ideas about what to do with their new abilities.  There's a layered exploration of what these genetic boosts could do for humanity, to improve or destroy lives. A lot of the enjoyment in this novel is watching Logan figure out what he can do and how he's going to use that. I can't add much detail to that isn't a spoiler, though.

I enjoyed watching fast-paced scifi adventure unfold, around the futuristic philosophy question, just like in Crouch's other novels.

Upgrade, by Blake Crouch, will be published by Ballantine Books on July 12, 2022. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the eARC. All opinions are my own, as always.

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