Friday, July 1, 2022

Summer Reading 2022 Upgrade


With all the controversy around genetic manipulation, this book should have no problem finding a home with readers who enjoy thrillers of a medical or scientific nature. There are already consumers worried over eating foods that have been modified, debates over how far medical care should go in treating genetic diseases, and this summer we even have "Jurassic World: Dominion" showing the dangers of messing with Mother Nature (in a big way). 

Author Blake Crouch has taken a what-if scenario and run with it. What if a geneticist found a way to protect crops, but something went horribly wrong? What if a worldwide food shortage was the result of those good intentions? What if countries were so scared that they created a policing agency to track down genetic labs and experts and keep them under control? And what if your mother was the scientist who started the whole avalanche of disasters and changes?

Logan Ramsay is that son with a dark family legacy he is trying to overcome. When he is exposed to an unknown contminant, everyone is worried about the consequences. And they should be - he begins to experience changes that can only mean his genetic code has been manipulated. But by whom? And why? And once the enhancements kick in, he sees that he may be the only one to save humanity from all its past mistakes. 

There are a lot of scientific terms and concepts  woven into the narrative, so readers should be prepared to encounter chemistry, biology, and other fields related to genetics. But the story does not take place isolated in a lab/clean room. Plenty of fights, stealthy manuevers, and trying to work out whom to trust are also a large part of the plot.  And, as Logan changes, he does some soul-searching about his past, his colleagues, and what is the best way to protect his family and the human race in general.

If you enjoy your action and suspense mixed in with science, global effects, and personal sacrifice - then pick up a copy of Upgrade.

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