The Passengers – John Marrs – Book Review – No Spoilers – What I Read In This Quarantine

June 20, 2020

This is my first book review, and I chose “The Passengers”, by John Marrs. I really loved this book, I hope you will enjoy my review. Please, leave me your feedback in the comments, about the book or any tips for me to improve!
Have fun!


“The Passengers” is a thriller set in England, in a not-distant future, where self-driving cars are the reality, to the point that the Government have a plan to ban all human-driven cars.
The premise was already very intriguing for me, as I love tech and it was very interesting to read how Marrs created the world. Nothing is so much over the line that it makes you think that it would be impossible for us to see that type of future. It’s all so plausible, possible and, in my opinion, very well researched that it makes you think that you are popping into our future.

Marrs starts the book with a bang, immediately introducing all 8 characters at the moment they are entering their cars and receiving the news that they are being hacked and are gonna die. From that point on, he jumps back and forth between them, uncovering dark secrets from their past, with the help of a group of characters that are following the events of the cars through video, safely in a room far away from them. This group of characters acts in the book as a moral compass and shows all the different faces that people can wear when in front of a an extremely difficult dilemma such as deciding who lives and who die.

I thought that having these two clearly separate groups of people was a very clever way to give us readers a way to think about very difficult ethical questions, without making the book too heavy. You have the passengers on one side, the ones who have secrets and are being judged on social media purely based on the impression they give to the public. On the other side you have the group of people that are invested with the moral authority to judge perfect strangers based on very few information, mostly presented in a biased way, to reach and stir up the population on social media.

Marrs is absolutely great at keeping the reader on his feet, with continuos twists in the story, surprises and completely different reads of the situations. It keeps flipping the tables, you think a character is good, than bad, than good, than bad and most of the time the reality is that we are just human, we make mistakes and social media are quick to hand down a death sentence just for the sake of entertainment.

The end was a let down, in my opinion, too many forced twists and scenes that are difficult to imagine in real life, so, unfortunately it left a bitter taste for me, as I had the feeling that the end was rushed, like if the author needed to end the story quickly and didn’t know how to. A longer, more descriptive end, in line with the rest of the book would have been a lot better, but still the story is absolutely worth it and a good read.

This is not the book that I would usually go for, if I were on a bookshop. Because of this lockdown, the local book club switched online, and I decided to join it. We had 3 choices for last month and this was the one that won the most votes. I’m very happy as it’s a great book to read, full of twists and with a solid story.
I would surely recommend you this book, as I read it in a day and a half; when you start reading, you really want to know what will happen next, who is gonna die, how the character will escape?
So, buy it, pour yourself a cup of hot chocolate, take a nice blanket and jump into the book, Marrs will do the rest.

If you decide to give it a go, please let me know in the comments, I would really like to know your opinion about this book, see how you liked the story and the end of it.
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