Eight people in self-driving cars suddenly lose all control. A voice says, "You are going to die." From cameras hidden in their cars, their panic is broadcast around the world. Viewers are asked, who should be saved, and who should be killed first?
While The Passengers is a fast-paced and somewhat outlandish thriller, its value may well lie in author John Marrs’ ability to imagine how technology and social media hijack humans on every level ... How this resolves itself —and there are several apparent denouements before the final one —is both clever and manipulative. While the loose logic detracts from the novel to an extent, Marrs’ ability to educate his audience about the problems of a future dominated by autonomous vehicles that are at the mercy of hackable data will win a lot of readers over. And his understanding of how social media can threaten our very humanity is nothing short of brilliant.
Speed on steroids, an adrenaline-pumped novel so heavily plotted that it is virtually impossible to hold back spoilers ... The parallel narrative lines converge as the countdown continues right up to the climactic last seconds. Finally, the clock runs out, but not before Marrs presents a few more surprises in the last big reveal. Some readers will have worked out the identity of the hacker early on. Nevertheless, The Passengers has a properly satisfying, head-spinning conclusion.