Since the newly-launched BBC Three series ‘Class’ is written by Young Adult author Patrick Ness, tie-in novels were inevitable. Three are now on book shelves penned by some Big Finish’s big-hitters.

The Stone House by A K Benedict

Class - Spin off Novel - The Stone House by A. K. Benedict
Class – Spin off Novel – The Stone House by A. K. Benedict

“If you get out, you’d think you’d be one of the lucky ones. But you’re not. The house infects you.”

A K Benedict brings her horror talents to bear in a tightly-written story. Tanya is snatched up by that titular scary story staple: the creepy, abandoned house. Throw in a murderous giant creature and you’ve got a classic tale and some vital character growth for Tanya.

Joyride by Guy Adams

“So, you can just leap into other people’s bodies? Take them over? And while you’re in control, you can do whatever you want? Brilliant.”

For a character taking the most physical toll for his adventures, it’s fitting that a body-swap story focus on Ram. This is Guy Adams’s take on ‘Invasion of the Bodysnatchers’ if it were set in a Shoreditch high school. With Ram getting the lion’s share of the development on TV, this story unavoidably retreads old ground on occasion. That said, it expands beautifully on Ram dealing with his prosthetic leg, which would have been tricky on TV.

Class - Spin off Novel - What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss
Class – Spin off Novel – What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss

What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss

“We want your stunts, your dares, your whatevs. There is only one rule. There is no such thing as oversharing.”

On the strength of this story, we surprised that James Goss hasn’t been snapped up by Netflix to write for ‘Black Mirror’. Though this idea seems to be enjoying a vogue in modern sci-fi, Goss has brought enough originality to make an exciting story. How it develops the character of April, who is yet to have much growth on TV, was great to see.


BBC Books has been putting out novels in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe ever since it reacquired the rights from Virgin Publishing in 1997. During the ‘Wilderness Years’, it was at liberty to take a more mature tone since there was almost no market for Doctor Who among children. That is, until the return of ‘Doctor Who’ to television, when BBC Books focused its efforts on tie-in novels that propped up the brand. This may seem like a digression but it’s worthwhile context for why these novels represent an evolution in the ‘Doctor Who’ franchise.

Class - Spin off Novel - Joy Ride by Guy Adams
Class – Spin off Novel – Joy Ride by Guy Adams

This trio of ‘Class’ novels, with more to follow, redresses the balance somewhat and has fully embraced the YA genre. Though ‘Class’ novels probably won’t reach EDA-level dark, the refined maturity has been carried over from the TV show. This is not the “sex monsters and metal-bikini Cyberwomen” idea of maturity we saw in early ‘Torchwood’. This is real drama, with real characters in fantastical situations. The writers have clearly enjoyed dipping into the modern-era Whoniverse without having to tone down the horror or gore. This fact alone makes us very optimistic about the quality of future ‘Class’ novels. With the right talent, the series could become a YA literary powerhouse in its own right, not just branding materials.

Unsurprisingly, with only two episodes of ‘Class’ aired at the of time of release, these books contain spoilers for future episodes. Nothing plot-related, just character backstory that hasn’t yet been established in the show, but it’s worth watching out for.

The books are available to buy now from Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions.

Joyride by Guy Adams  – Paperback, Kindle

The Stone House by A.K. Benedict – Paperback, Kindle

What She Does Next Will Astound You by James Goss – Paperback, Kindle

Or you can enter our competition to 1 of 2 sets we have to give away. Find out more at our previous post.


  1. While it’s true Class avoided the metal bikini I still feel the TV show is doing things like throwing sex scenes on just to feel relevant and adult. Hopefully these books, two of which are written by writers long familiar with how Doctor Who works, are able to be more subtle. We don’t need sex scenes to get the picture that two characters are in love. I hope the novel writers respect the viewers’ intelligence and ability to connect the dots.

    • Oh good grief Al. Since when did snogging on a bed constitute as a sex scene?

      I’m curious Mat, “these books contain spoilers for future episodes.” So why didn’t they wait until the end of the series before releasing them?

      Very impressed with the tv show so far, and that’s from a 53 year-old who is not exactly their target audience! 🙂

      • Hi Simon, as it turned out, most of the spoiler stuff I was referring to came out in Saturday’s episode a few days after I wrote this – backstory on Tanya’s dad, for example. So you’re good to go.

    • Hi Al, I’m of the opinion that sex has its place in any drama if it’s done right. For example, Torchwood used the affair between Owen and Gwen to great effect. But the second and fourth episodes having a gas monster that shagged you to death and Cybermen being turned into fetish cosplay felt like a fourteen year old boy’s idea of what maturity was (and I say that as someone who was a fourteen year old boy at the time). Chibnall, who wrote both episodes, tried so hard to distance the show from its parent show, by having “mature” stuff that Doctor Who couldn’t do, that he made it look desperate to be taken seriously. Oh, it definitely got better – the affair between Owen and Gwen was used really well – but it’s good to see that Class hasn’t started on the same foot.

      Class, on the other hand, is aimed at a young adult audience, many of whom are just starting to discover sex and so to have a focus on relationships makes sense. To gloss over or ignore the fact that these things get physical wouldn’t ring true when this show is going for a more grounded reality.


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