Review: Upgrade, by Blake Crouch

I loved Dark Matter, I liked Recursion, and I had high hopes for this book too. But I was disappointed.

While the other books by Blake Crouch were about theoretical physics (in a sense), with time travel and multiple universes, this one is more down to earth. Set in a dystopian near-future with much of the world in ruins (but still functional), Crouch turns his attention here to genetic research. His hero is the son of a female scientist who while attempting to do good unleashed a genetic mutation that caused hundreds of millions of deaths. The whole book is the story of the attempt by the hero to prevent his mother and sister from doing even more damage.

It’s very violent with lots of shooting and explosions and chases (is Hollywood listening?) and it’s full of detail about gene editing and the like, much of which I found tedious. Crouch was wearing his research on his sleeve, I thought. And after a while, the gun battles and explosions do become a bit repetitive and uninteresting. Of the three books I’ve now read by Blake Crouch — an author I like — this is the weakest.