2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Book Review: Upgrade by Blake Crouch

I enjoy Blake Crouch’s science fiction. Both the science and the fiction are always well-developed and well-executed. That was the case here, don’t get me wrong, but this time around I found the balance to be much more uneven than in previous books, and that’s where I had some issues…

I was highly intrigued by the concept – as I generally am with his work. His imagination fascinates me and his ability to blend current state-of-the-art technology with futuristic possibilities is fantastic – in all senses of the word. But this time around the balance was weighted heavily in favour of science, often at the expense of the pacing of the fictional narrative and the characters’ interactions, and I found that more difficult to work through than in previous books.

The extra emphasis on the science frequently pulled me out of the plot and the action in a way that I didn’t really enjoy. It was fascinating at first -but after a while the descriptions of what all the genes translated into and the machinery necessary to enable the scary technology being described started feeling monotonous.

On top of that, once we knew what the upgrades were and made possible, the cat and mouse felt a lot less suspenseful and a lot more repetitive and anti-climactic than I expected. I still enjoyed it, but I must confess this was not my favorite of his novels…

The ending felt a little pat and the epilogue, while heartening, didn’t feel like it fit with the tone of the rest of the story. It made me smile but it didn’t feel very plausible in the universe that had been established… Or maybe I’m just way too cynical!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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