Book review – The Passengers by John Marrs

Caidyn's review (1)

The Passengers

I received an ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!

4.5/5

CW: inter-partner violence, chronic illness, racism, death, pedophilia, mention of human trafficking, adultery, bigamy, blackmailing, childbirth, and graphic violence/descriptions of gore


Like with The One, this is fit for a Black Mirror episode. It was unputdownable (it’s now a word). I didn’t want to stop reading it because I was so, so intrigued by it.

The story is set in a future Britain. After Brexit. After everything else. Britain has passed laws to help integrate driverless cars into their world. Of course, they have to do inquests for deaths caused by these cars. That’s where Libby comes in. Libby is very against driverless cars, yet she’s chosen to be a part of the jury to decide whether the car or person harmed by the car is at fault for the crash. Most of these cases come out in favor of the car making the right choice.

However, everything goes wrong.

Eight people get into their driverless cars to get on with their day. Six of them are Shabana, Claire, Sam and Heid, Jude, and Sofia. Shabana is fleeing her abusive husband. Claire is pregnant. Sam and Heidi are a married couple, each going on with their day. Jude is down and out. And Sofia is an aging actress.

The Hacker takes over their cars, which have already been set to explode at some point. He breaks into the jury room, putting the people in it as jury for whether these people will survive the day. Because they — and the rest of the world — have to choose which one of the eight will live while the other seven will crash into each other. If anyone tries to stop the cars or gets in the way at all, the car will explode, killing the person inside and injuring other people.

It’s fucking madness.

I read this book so quickly. The thrills kept coming. It’s split into two parts. I loved Parts 1 and 2. God, they moved fast and the hits didn’t stop coming. I tried to cover everything in my content warnings, but I have a feeling that I missed something because of just how quickly the story went. I feel like some of the hits were lackluster just because there were harder hitting things. I know that the Hacker chose these people for his specific purpose, but it still was a lot and it kept veering towards too much.

I wish I could talk more about the plot, honestly. But you have to take my word for it that it moves at an insane rate for about 80% of the book. It was nonstop and I couldn’t put it down for the first two parts.

The next two? Eh.

While the first two parts were imaginative and insane, the ending was weak. I think it honestly could have ended at the second part and it would have left me wanting more rather than it dragging on for 20%. There were multiple “twists” that didn’t work. I just kept wanting it to end because it had gone too far. The story kept going even though it had stopped being interesting.

And that made it all fall flat. I sincerely think it could have ended around 80%. Sure, I might be writing about how the ending left me wanting more, but when I got more I wasn’t happy about it.

Still, a fantastic book. Just with a lackluster ending.


Talk to me!
What was the last thriller that you loved?
Have you read this? Are you planning to?

Book review – Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Caidyn's review (1)

Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe #2)

4/5

CW: death of loved ones, murder, and revenge

  1. Scythe – 4/5

I nearly started screaming into the void at the ending. Damn am I glad the third book comes out soon!

I’m going to spoil the first book for you, so don’t read any further if you haven’t read it and plan on it! (Keep reading if you have read it or you haven’t and you don’t care about being spoiled.)

This takes place a bit after Citra becomes Scythe Anastasia. She has a unique gleaning — aka killing — technique that is making her friends and enemies all around, plus just the hubbub around her appointment in the first place. She still works with her mentor, Scythe Curie, and they get along well. Everything’s going well for Scythe Anastasia, though.

Then, there’s Rowan. Rowan has months left of immunity thanks to Scythe Anastasia’s deft move to grant him that so she didn’t have to glean him. However, he’s doing something a bit more unique. He’s pretending to be a scythe to kill scythes who are a part of the new order.

And, lastly, there’s a new character. Greyson Tolliver. He’s more of a mystery about his character and his importance. Even after the ending, I’m still wondering how he was so important and why he was introduced.

Still, I loved the plot. It was so enthralling to read and gave me something to do on commutes back to the hotel and to random places in Portland. Also, it furthered characterization so well of the people I had become attached to in the first book.

What really stood out was the expansion of the world. In this book, you really get to know the Thunderhead — the AI system that controls their world but was made by humans — better. I loved reading the little sections between chapters and the Thunderhead’s commentary on different things.

You also get to see the innerworkings of scythedom better, along with a newer category of people called “unsavory”. Basically, they’re people who have done things so bad that they’re locked out of the regular world. Like scythes, they can’t contact the Thunderhead but because they are being forced out of the usual world.

At times, I wished that the story was more plot focused. Most of the time I was wondering to myself: Why is this important? Why is this character needed? What’s this working towards? But, I really enjoyed it when I realized what was happening. I still wish that the story had been more narrowed at times.

But, that ending slayed me. I’m deadish waiting to be revived by the final book!


Talk to me!
Have you read this?
What did you think?

Book review – Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Caidyn's review (1)

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

4/5

CW: death of loved ones, mass killings, and grief


I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon for this book after waiting many years to start reading it. That’s mainly because I wanted the whole series out, but also because I’m really good at procrastinating at popular books.

As I said, I really enjoyed it. I loved the world that it was about. Some futuristic world where all diseases have been cured and you can reset your clock so you’re younger when you hit a certain point. So, basically, you don’t have to die. Everyone can live forever. And that’s where the scythes come in. They kill people — or glean the population — to make sure that the world doesn’t become overpopulated. If your family member is killed, you’re granted immunity from gleaning for a year.

The story follows Citra and Rowan. Both are teenagers who, in their own way, become scythes in training. Neither of them exactly want to be scythes, but they’re taken on as apprentices to the same person. Until something happens and they’re taken in by two very, very different people.

Now, I enjoyed the characters. They were so interesting and I loved watching their development over the course of the book. Both went on such different paths and developed so differently. I also appreciated that there was no romance in this! Or, not really any romance. That was so refreshing because I would have died if there was romance in this damn thing.

That being said, I had some issues. I did space out while reading a bit because it slowed down so much. Spaced out to the point that I missed a major plot point that changed the trajectory of the whole book. I went with the change and filled in the blanks as I went. It wasn’t detrimental to my reading experience that I missed it, but still kinda annoying that something important was hidden in the drudge.

I also never got super attached to the characters. I liked them, but I wasn’t going to die if anything horrible happened to them. I can’t wait until the next book to see what happens/how I’ll get attached.

Lastly, the ending. I enjoyed it and I like the intrigue that the book brought up — what is the Thunderhead? what will happen with the scythes and the changes that are going on there? — but, honestly, this could have been a stand-alone book. It was a very good book and I wasn’t annoyed by it being a series like with Spin the Dawn, but I’m not sure if it needed a three book series.

Still, we’ll see what I think of the sequel soon enough!


Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
Did you think this needs to be a series?

First Lines Friday

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Continue reading