Book Review: John Marrs – the passengers

  • Originally posted on July 24, 2019

Recently, I have moved my reading tastes away from the predictable world of procedural novels and the far less predictable world of spy thrillers to a literal whole new would. Near-future fiction has taken my interest, and I have reached the stage of interest where I want to grab everything in the genre and read it as fast as I can. And I certainly read ‘the passengers’ at a high speed…

A ruthless hacker targets eight driverless cars, and sets them to collide at the same time in an undisclosed location in two and a half hours time. The only ones who can save any of them… are sitting in a room in central Birmingham. Oh, and the bloodthirsty global public, who’s insatiable lust for drama amd thrills have many dark consequences…

I hadn’t heard of John Marrs before discovering this treasure. Another book of his, ‘The One’ was a bestseller and is currently in production for a Netflix Original Production. It is also in an Amazon delivery which is going to be received today, and if it’s anywhere near as good as ‘the passengers’, it will be worth the read.

This novel is full of unexpected twists. You truly begin to like the main character, Libby, while everyone around her appears to take on entire different personalities as more information about them comes to light. Rather like our own society, where our opinions of people evolve as we learn more about them – and absolutely no-one is safe from the stunning turns that this book takes. Combining recent events with darkly comic moments, touching on harsher aspects of life while producing the horror which can only be produced from the realisation that should Artificial Intelligence be abused in the ways which those in power abuse other aspects of public life (truth, media, expenses, etc) that this is not too far from being a reality in the near future.

Much of the excitement which I felt from reading this was born from the original concept created by Marrs. It was such uncharted territory that it was completely impossible to even consider where this story would end, and although, at one stage, I was surprised that it continued until page 404, parts three and four are absolutely essential to the novel, and wrap up the story brilliantly. I was especially impressed with some of the artistic effects taken in writing this, such as the fake screenshots from webpages about the Hacking, and also in creating an atmosphere as if it were a TV show or film. Indeed, this would work excellently as a TV show, maybe of four parts, but it would need to contain the entire story, and no second season. As for ‘The One’… that will be coming up soon.

If it wasn’t already obvious, I think you should read this book.

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