A solid sci-fi thriller with a side order of existential philosophy. 4/5.
The blurb: “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?
I cannot believe it has been SIX YEARS since I read and reviewed Dark Matter by Blake Crouch! I really enjoyed that book but haven’t had the chance to read his subsequent novels, so I jumped at the chance to read Upgrade.
I only gave three books 5 stars this year. But, happily, I gave seven books 4.5 stars which means I can do a top 10!
I read and reviewed 117 this year. Only three of them got 5 stars. I think I may be getting pickier with my 5 stars as I get older!
There were also seven books which came very close to those elusive 5 stars, so I’ve included them here too.
Click on the book title for my full review. Click on the book cover to go to Goodreads.
Here we go!
Somewhere in the multiverse, another me is giving this 5 stars. 4.5/5.
The blurb: “Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.”
In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable–something impossible.
Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
This review will be spoiler-free and therefore brief.
Dark Matter brought back strong memories of a TV show I loved: Quantum Leap. It’s very possible that readers under the age of 30 will have no idea what I’m talking about but trust me, that show was brilliant TV (particularly for the standards of the late 80s and early 90s). Obviously there are more differences between Dark Matter and Quantum Leap than similarities, but the idea of a man stranded outside his own life, desperately trying to get home, is a powerful one. It worked for Quantum Leap and it works just as well for Dark Matter.