The Passengers by John Marrs
Genres: Thriller, Sci-Fi
Published: 1st April, 2019
Let me tell you guys, I bloody hate driving. When I first heard of self driving cars, I thought it was an amazing idea, pretty much the bee’s knees. Well… Not anymore!
The book describes a premise in which self driving cars are quite common, and some people are against them on principle, simply because there’s a much discussed scenario in which if an accident can’t be avoided and the car would choose to run over one person over mowing down a group of them. You can debate this as much as you like, but just bear one thing in mind. Firstly, this is a very specific scenario, and not every accident results in someone getting run over. Furthermore… An actual driver could be even more unpredictable. Like, if I were driving that car, chances are that neither the single pedestrian, nor the group would be safe should I have an accident, simply because I may panic, and I’m a very inexperienced driver. You see, I probably wouldn’t even think about them, instincts would kick in, and I’d try and not die. Just like anyone else.
So that’s that. Moralizing over, let’s move onto the book. To make things a bit more interesting, a hacker appears out of nowhere, and hijacks eight of these super fancy driverless vehicles, and with them, their unsuspecting passengers. Another note to self: shit with computers in them are possible to hack. But just who is this mysterious individual? What have these passengers done to deserve to die? Especially in a fashion resembling a reality TV show where viewers can vote and essentially save their favourites. Because surely, they must deserve their fate somehow.
As time goes by and more information is revealed about the passengers, the public opinion swayed every few minutes. Your favourite from five minutes ago may now become the most hated person. Who controls this information? Is it true? Does that matter?
It happens quite often in real life as well, that people form an opinion about someone they’ve never met based on whatever rumour or “news” is currently available. The news and social media spread these like wildfire, and there you have it. In a matter of minutes you can become the butt of every joke, or the target of such hatred you’ve never seen before. We’ve all seen it before. This is what makes this story so terrifying. It just hits too close to home.
A high octane, dark thriller, The Passengers is an accurate account of how people turn into sheep at the snap of a finger if given the choice.