Book review: The Passengers by John Marrs

Title: The Passengers

Author: John Marrs

Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller

Publisher: Ebury

Publication date: 1st April 2019

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


“Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

The new gripping page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of THE ONE – soon to be a major Netflix series.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

My review:

In an alternate universe driverless cars have become a popular form of travel. Technology and expertise have created what appears to be a safer and more efficient way of getting to places and it is thought that fewer accidents happen as a result. However, their safety is put to the test when a hacker decides to test the power of the authorities when he warns the public that eight cars have been reprogrammed to crash into each other in several hours time. What follows is an intense and remarkable story line which follows all eight passengers as they are informed of their fate in the most twisted circumstances.

The concept behind The Passengers seem simple at first yet it is cleverly plotted and developed which ultimately results in a gripping and evolving story line that is difficult to break from until the very end. The narrative is engrossing and fast-paced and the plot moves from one twist to another with ease. At no point did I feel bored or detached from the story line, in fact I found myself rushing through each chapter keen to discover the passengers’ fate. The pace felt ideal, with just enough room for character growth but also fast enough to make the reader feel like they are speeding down the motorway in one of the cars.

The focus jumps from one character to another as we are introduced to the events leading up to the crash. Each passenger has a unique background and, although it was easier to relate to some more than others, the variety of controversies that the author brings up, from infidelity to death, felt both daring and exciting. Being able to relate to each character on a deeper level created a very realistic reading experience and I had to reassure myself several times that I was not trapped in one of the self-drive cars with a passenger. Although the concept may seem engaging, it is ultimately the characters which made this book truly special for me.

John Marrs doesn’t disappoint with his latest release, in fact this is easily one of the best thrillers that I have read this year. The mixture of a thickened plot, diverse characters and an exciting setting created a masterpiece which will linger in my mind for a long time.

24 thoughts on “Book review: The Passengers by John Marrs

    • Oh, I didn’t realise that it will be adapted to a movie?! I guess that could be really amazing or quite disappointing. But the book is really good so you should definitely read it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It was definitely scary, almost as if the car was more intelligent than the passenger! I think it’s also putting many other people off reading it and I can totally understand why!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great review, Darina! I absolutely agree with you that it’s the characters, not the technology that make this book. It was fascinating getting to know them and seeing how different the big picture is from what gets fed to the social media.

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. Ohh this looks quite interesting, adding it to my virtual wanna read now!
    What make it even more interesting is how self-driving cars can be into our future, someday, so there IS that « well, what if? » induced fear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, it’s such a terrifying concept that one day we will just have to get into a vehicle and it will drive us off with no intervention from humans whatsoever. The author did a great job of conveying that terror into this book as well. I hope you like it!

      Liked by 1 person

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