Class: Joyride by Guy Adams

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Class: Joyride by Guy Adams

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Category: Science Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Luke Marlowe
Reviewed by Luke Marlowe
Summary: A spin off novel that is an incredibly fun read, "Class:Joyride" is a darkly funny thriller that takes characters from the TV show "Class" and takes them on a whole new adventure that will keep fans enthralled.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: October 2016
Publisher: BBC Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1785941863​

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Poppy is a quiet girl, right up until she steals a car and drives it through a shop window. Max is a nice guy, but then he kills his whole family. Just for fun. Amar always seems so happy, so why is he trying to jump to his death from the school roof? Some of the students of Coal Hill School are not themselves. Some of them are dying. Ram has just woken up in a body he doesn't recognise, and if he doesn't figure out why, he may well be next.

"Class" is a show airing on BBC 3, a spinoff to Doctor Who featuring a group of young adults studying at Coal Hill school, a place that has its fair share of monsters and unusual happenings as the result of a rift in time and space that happens to be right in the school. Filled with a tight, diverse cast of characters, Class has humour, drama and romance, and, whilst it serves as a good counterpoint to Doctor Who, it's also a refreshingly modern show in its own right. "Joyride" is one of three spin off novels that have been published in conjunction with the release of the show, and this is one I was particularly keen to read, given that it's written by author Guy Adams, who has previously written brilliant Doctor Who and Torchwood spinoff novels, but also the fantastic novel "The Clown Service", which I highly recommend.

Here he brings his deft comic touch to a story that combines black humour with a plot that is rather crazily relevant to our modern day world of social media and virtual reality. As it's a story in the Doctor Who universe, aliens are involved, but they're almost an afterthought in this compelling story that instead focuses on human interactions and human flaws, with our main cast joined by an assortment of new characters who are hugely fun to read about, despite commiting fairly vile acts. The plot is very tight too, and whilst obviously there are some constraints when writing a story set between episodes of a tv show (I imagine major character developments are fairly verboten), Adams uses the lead characters particularly well, building on character traits and relationships that have so far only been glimpsed in the TV show. This doesn't feel like a cheap cash in either - Adam's writing skill is exceptional and it's clear a lot of time and effort has been put into crafting this work. It's a hugely satisfying read as a result, and, for me, the best of the "Class" spinoff novels we've had so far.

Many thanks to the publishers for the copy, and for further reading I'd reccomend another book by the author - the previously mentioned The Clown Service. It's a hilariously funny fantasy romp through a rather nuts alternative version of London, and it's absolutely worth a read.

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