Review of ‘The Passengers’ by John Marrs

Would you trust an automatic driverless car which uses smart technology that knows everything about you? Me neither. However, in the near future, that’s how people travel in this thriller by John Marrs. The premise is that eight of these cars are hijacked, filled with explosives and put on a collision course. It’s up to a jury and the public to decide which passengers die and which deserve to be saved.

Most of the book is a tense page-turner which is not only brutal and thrilling, it comments on the technology increasingly dominating our lives. You could also take it as a warning not to put so much of yourself online and not to be so quick to judge people you don’t know. Unfortunately, the last hundred pages were a drag. The tension evaporated. There was too much explaining and not enough action. I found the writing a little clunky although I’m more forgiving of this for thrillers. I thought the characters were interesting, but one of them, an MP who is one of the driving forces (excuse the pun) behind the adoption of driverless cars, was like an evil pantomime villain and not a real person. I don’t know if this was intentional but it added a touch of the ridiculous which jarred with the serious nature of the novel’s concept.

Worth a read for a potential vision of the future and for a mostly gripping thriller.

Published in 2019.

8 thoughts on “Review of ‘The Passengers’ by John Marrs”

  1. I’m glad you found parts of this book clunky. I felt the same about several parts of it as well. The book on the whole was good, but fell flat for me in places.

    I didn’t hate it enough to never read another John Marrs book, luckily.

    1. I would agree on that πŸ™‚ I actually have another of his books, ‘The One’ on loan as a library e-book and I’ll be starting it soon – I always like to give an author a second chance at impressing me!

      1. I’ve heard tons of good things about The One. I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, so look forward to your thoughts πŸ™‚

        1. It’s going to be a Netflix series very soon, which is sure to get even more people interested in reading it. Thanks for your comments and for stopping by πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks πŸ™‚ Generally it’s a pacy thriller with a fascinating concept a bit like Black Mirror. I’m reading another of his books, The One, so I hope it has a better ending.

  2. I bought this book a while ago as I loved the premise – but haven’t yet read. I’m intrigued if I’ll feel the same as you – it’s frustrating when a thriller loses steam at its climax!

    1. It’s a really good concept! And will make you very wary of driverless technology πŸ˜‰ I think it would have been better without the last 100 or so pages. Hope you enjoy when you get round to it!

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