An original novel based on the BBC3 series ‘Class’ created by Patrick Ness, ‘Joyride’ is something a little bit new and its rather good. Having already managed to catch some of the new episodes of ‘Class’, I am already engrossed, so a chance to get to know the characters a little more is perfect.
Coal Hill Academy is at the centre of a rift in space and time and, every so often, something nasty slips through. It has its protector and alien, Charlie, almost sole survivor of his race alongside his now bodyguard, Quill, previously a rebel on their home planet. Student April, who strives to be nice, has seen too much already since the horrifying event of the prom and subsequently. Ram is still coming to terms with events. Tanya is the youngest but often the most astute, she’s not averse to a little hacking if it helps things along.
Some Coal Hill kids who’ve led blameless lives have become perpetrators of horrendous crimes and not all have survived. One who did has no memory of the event leading up to him slaughtering his whole family. Luckily, the kids of Coal Hill Scooby Club are in the case knowing its unlikely to lead to sunshine and puppies.
This is a cracking story with Guy Adams getting under the skin of the new characters and working them into a great story with relish. This is a welcome addition to the already entertaining and engaging series which should hopefully appeal to its target audience and not just this old woman. It’s definitely been inspired by ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ and that’s no bad thing neither as we need that ensemble feel.
Guy Adams who has previously written a wide range of novels including ‘Sherlock Holmes’, ‘Torchwood’ and his own original work has captured the fresh feel of the TV show with his portrayal of our lead characters and their on-going development. The plot could have been quite hackneyed with previously used themes and assumptions but it too feels fresh and modern knocking many of the ‘Doctor Who’ plots sideways.
‘Joyride’ is a bit of a shot in the arm for the TV series novel as it effortlessly deals with the concerns and character memes that are already evident in the opening episodes and helps stimulate our interest both in securing the next few episodes but also the next few novels. Top Marks.
(pub: BBC Books/Penguin Random House. 261 page small enlarged paperback. Price: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-785-94186-3)
check out website: www.penguin.co.uk