Upgrade by Blake Crouch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a solid Limitless-type outing. I'm a sucker for gene-editing improvement stories in general, so when I learned that Crouch was turning his hand to a completely different sub-genre of SF, I couldn't wait to see what he'd come up with.
I've already loved the creepy small town SF mystery, the multiverse cloning, and the time travel stuff. He's been stretching his wings each time, pulling out an old trope and just running with it, making it solid and very fun each time.
This one is no different. It's got that fun vibe written all over it.
But. While I think it's solid and fun, rolling around in some great genetics and chemistry terms as well as some other super brainy stuff while being, primarily, an action technothriller, I don't think it was anything more than a fun ride. It was good, not brilliant.
It was undoubtedly a product of Covid, with man-made viral vectors, mind you, and a hefty death count to go with the upgrades. I should mention that other than the whole upgrade bit, there was a great nod to an idea that Steven Kotler, Last Tango in Cyberspace, developed: a virus that enhances empathy. I just wanted to mention that because it IS something that should be mentioned, explored, and cherished. :)
If you want action and adventure in a brainy upgraded SF, Upgrade *will* be right up your alley.
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