40718386Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?

Source Format Pages Publisher Genre Publication Date
Netgalley eARC 400 Ebury Publishing Thriller May 30th, 2019

Boy, does this book make one question their morals?! John Marrs is bang on the money with relevant trend in the current focus on AI in this wondrous age of technology! AI is something that no longer seems utopic or unachievable. In The Passengers, Marrs has taken AI and cars- the natural next step- making human life ever/even more so comfortable… now, we can drive to work and do our make up in the cars without worrying the cops will fine us. Now, we can drive to anywhere at all without ever getting lost again. Now, we can sit in a car and read a newspaper, play a video game or speak on the mobile phone. Market for hands-free sets went down, down, down with the government bill that put fully autonomous cars on the roads! Welcome to the future!

On one of the days, 8 people, Passengers, get in their new swanky, super duper uber awesome cars to go about their busy lives. It is on one of those days, these 8 AI equipped cars, get hacked. Funnily enough… Human error in everything we do is the biggest risk and we have come to think that with technology, the human error does not exist anymore. How bloody wrong we are. I don’t trust technology to be more perfect in anything than what a human does. Anyway…

Government is clever, too! They push through the bill, altering everyone’s lives but they also know that the devil is in the detail. As accidents happen, a group is set up – of officials and random civilians to judge whether accidents involving AI equipped cars are the fault of the car or the victims. Clever, I tell yous!

So – Cars, hacked, 8 poor souls on their way to the death. The countdown is on! We have the 2 hour and something wracking up our blood pressure as we come nearer to the end of the innocent souls. But, how innocent are they really? And should their innocence or guilt really allow anyone to decide who should live or die? And can you really know enough about someone in this short space of time to decide whether they are worthy of continuing their life as part of society?

I love how this book explores the advancement of technology- making the plot of this book, this very book, ahead of the game on the fiction market whilst at the same time showing the potential everything that can go wrong! Government and diverse cast of characters thrown into the mix and we got ourselves a right cabbage-soup! But that is not all… because- wait for it- the power of the tweet and the hashtag is also thrown into pot as the whole world witnesses the events live and are prompted to have their say! Can you imagine? And bloody hell does it get nasty!

Marrs has yet again taken something unique and innovative and turned it into a proper page-turner. As a bonus, if you’re familiar with his earlier works, the concept from The One is also referenced which I truly enjoyed!