Book Review: The Passengers

08.27.2019 | Berkley
Rating: 5/5 stars


Self-driving cars have become the norm in the UK. People no longer drive themselves anywhere, but instead have learned to trust a safer alternative. Or so they think…

Eight people find themselves trapped inside their cars. There is no way out. A mysterious voice informs them that they no longer have control of their cars and their destiny is in the hands of a small jury. They are travelling to a pre-programmed destination where their cars will collide. The cameras inside their cars and the room of the sequestered jury are being broadcast across the world. As social media takes hold the question of the fate of the passengers changes from who should the jury save to who should they let die first.

It may have come to your attention that your vehicle is no longer under your management. From here on in, I am in charge of your destination.

John Marrs is an absolute mastermind for coming up with unique, yet plausible futuristic thriller/crime fiction concepts. I first fell in love with Marrs’ writing last year when I read THE ONE, which gave me massive Black Mirror vibes and THE PASSENGERS is proof that this concept is completely translatable to literature. I felt like I was watching a TV show as I was frantically flipping through this book.

Marrs kickstarts THE PASSENGERS by giving the reader a first-hand look into the situation of being trapped in an automated car through the eyes of several victims. Each person comes from a different background and appears to have something they are hiding. There are immediately hints from each narrator that they have done something or participated in something they don’t want others to know about. Several even believe that their actions might have led them to this terrifying fate. I loved getting in the head of each of these people!

How can you assure us of anything? You’ve murdered people, you’ve forced us into making impossible decisions that go against everything we believe in. And for what purpose? Because you don’t like driverless cars or artificial intelligence? Well, neither do I, but you don’t see me blowing innocent people up!

The reader is also introduced to an interesting group of people that work together as a jury deciding on the guilt associated with accidents involving automated cars. They are now the jury of who will live or die. There are so many secrets and lies coming out at this point that it’s almost hard to keep up with. I was swept away with the dramatics in the history of the characters, as well as the current situation. I should clarify, however, that even though I am referring to dramatics, there is nothing cheesy about the content. The plot is absolutely solid throughout THE PASSENGERS and each time Marrs chooses to throw a twist at the reader you won’t see it coming!

THE PASSENGERS is an excellent addition to the TBR of any reader looking for a brilliantly intricate and captivating story! There is so much within this book to attract a wide range of audiences. You have everything from a fascinating premise, to compelling characters with interesting backstories, to tension from the situation, to interesting snippets from social media sources, to so much more!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon Book Depository

Disclosure: A huge thank you to Berkley for sending me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: The Passengers

  1. This sounds so creepy!! Especially since self-driving cars are a think now. Have you seen any of the videos of the Tesla drivers who are sleeping while the car is on the freeway!!?

    Liked by 1 person

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