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Happy Endings

By Paul Cornell

Book review by Nicholas Withers

Without a doubt Paul Cornell's writings have been the central core and influence behind much of the New Adventures so it was only fitting that he should write, (or perhaps that should be edit), the 50th book. While the main plot and probably most of the writing is Paul Cornell's all but one of the New Adventure authors of the first fifty books contributed sections.

As a novel, Happy Endings is a horrible failure - its plot is almost painfully absent, and when some plot elements do occur (such as the token villain of the piece), they seem absurd. As a book it is also so caught up in the continuity of the book series that it requires nearly all previous forty-nine books to be fresh in the mind to understand what is happening to who and by who. Relief comes only in the depth of the characterisation of Bernice, which in turn reflects badly on the other main characters who become very two- dimensional. The only other character worth noting is the now more mature Ace.

As a celebration of the New Adventures universe it is very successful. Characters feature as guests from most of the New Adventures, although towards the end the number of guests showing up seemed crazy, highly gratuitous and totally fanboyish in the continuity references.

This item appeared in TSV 48 (August 1996).

Index nodes: Happy Endings