September 24, 2019

The Passengers Blog Tour: Review

The Passengers
Author: John Marrs
Genre: Science Fiction/Thriller
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books


You're riding in your self-driving car when suddenly the doors lock, the route changes and you have lost all control. Then, a mysterious voice tells you, "You are going to die."
Just as self-driving cars become the trusted, safer norm, eight people find themselves in this terrifying situation, including a faded TV star, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man.

From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast to millions of people around the world. But the public will show their true colors when they are asked, "Which of these people should we save?...And who should we kill first?"


THE PASSENGERS is a 1970s disaster movie by way of Black Mirror, with an added dash of technology-gone-wrong straight out of Michael Crichton….If you’re looking for a sleek, exhilarating ride, look no further.”— Financial Times

“One can almost hear the Hollywood music in the background as the action unfolds; the plot twists are truly gripping….Summer blockbuster entertainment at its best.”— Kirkus Reviews

“[THE PASSENGERS’s] strength lies in its well-developed characters and in its exploration of issues such as the growing role of AI, mob psychology, and the ethics of who gets to decide who lives or dies.”— Publishers Weekly

“Marrs excels at thrilling readers by creating a real sense of tension and delivering a believable, harsh criticism of modern society through this dark and entertaining story.” —Los Angeles Times

“What a ride!”—Booklist

The Passengers is a fast paced thriller that uses common technology we use almost daily against us and then demands we make the hardest decision of all - who to save and who to kill. I haven't read any of the author's other books before going into this one and I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The description sounded really intriguing and I knew there was definite potential for a great story. I was not disappointed in the least - it was actually the opposite. This is a genre bending novel that not only makes the reader think about our daily use and increasing dependency on technology but also on greater ethical questions. I found it to be exhilarating, terrifying, thought provoking, and truly gripping.

I don't do spoilers in my reviews, so it's going to be really hard to say basically anything about the plot that isn't mentioned in the description without giving anything away. There are several characters involved in the story - the people in their cars who have been chosen to participate in this sick "game" and also the people on the outside who are trying to figure out what's happening and shut it down - namely a woman named Libby, who we quickly learn isn't completely separate from what's happening and the people involved. We get small but insightful snippets of each "Passenger" throughout the novel, so bit by bit we can start to piece together their lives and situations. On top of getting to know all of the characters better and learning more about this deadly game that's being played - we start getting hit with the good stuff. Everything in these people's closets is being exposed - secrets, lies, and any other dirt that can be found. On top of all of these revelations, the author introduces twist after twist into the plot - to the point where you have absolutely no idea what's going to come to light or what might happen next. This last part had me completely invested in the story and I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next and what was going to be exposed. I was reading as quickly as I could without missing anything and the book was over before I knew it.

Normally, my preferred writing style is first person point of view for several reasons. However, with this many main and major characters, it was best that the author used the third person POV. We still get to know each of them and everything in their lives, but it doesn't become overwhelming or confusing because of the author's writing style. It was a great balance to the whirlwind story unfolding in front of us and I don't think it could've been done any better. I honestly didn't have any expectations going into this book and it blew me away and left me thinking about a lot of serious topics long after I had finished the last page. I'm definitely going to be checking out the author's other books now. I very highly recommend this novel for fans of science fiction, contemporary fiction, suspense, mystery, thriller, action and adventure, and those looking for something different from what else is out there right now. 
John Marrs is the author of The One which is being made into a 10 part Netflix series, The Good Samaritan, Her Last Move, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. Until recently, he worked for twenty-five years as a freelance journalist based in London, England, where he interviewed celebrities from the world of television, film, and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including the Guardian's Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, the Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine, and Company. He is now a full-time author.

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