Yes this novel is the exit of the professor of archeology as we see her married off to Jason Kane after the events of Death and Diplomacy. In typical Virgin fashion Happy Endings exclusively focuses on the wedding of Benny and Jason and all the mishaps, guests and cameos brought with it. This novel features or at least mentions one character from each novel in some way. I’m not going to bore everyone with listing everyone off, because there are nearly fifty characters to remember, but I will mention at least the important ones. You would think that there would be difficulty to remember every character, but really that isn’t a problem in this novel as every character at least gets something done really well. I will be spoiling some of the best bits of the novel as Cornell writes a comedy of errors so do not read on until you have read the novel or if you don’t care about having somethings spoiled for you.
Let’s start with Reverend Annie Trelaw, neice of Reverend Ernst Trelaw from Timewyrm: Revelation. Annie of course accepts the Doctor at face value and has the honor of marrying the happy couple. Saul the sentient church also makes a brief appearance to add a few quips into the mix of chaos in the story. Peter and Emily Hutchings also make a return as the story is primarily set in Cheldon Bonniface and of course does the Timewyrm, Ishtar Hutchings. Ishtar gets the most character development as she develops a relationship with Chris Cwej over the course of the novel and they have a child together. Ishtar is a great character as instead of the domineering Timewrym, she’s much closer to a mischievous little pixie. She and Chris really do fit well together in the relationship, even if they leave each other at the end of the novel. She still has his child who in turn gives birth to the eternal Time. Basically the way the Seventh Doctor acts in his incarnation is all Chris’s fault. Ishtar is still a great character and Chris is just as wide eyed and innocent as always as Cornell is the first to point out. The way Chris acts you just want to have him around for the laughs it would cause.
The Ice Warriors from Legacy are brought in as peace mediators for the wedding which is a fault for this novel as really they only get to partake in a bar fight which is a great scene. The bar brawl and pub quiz section of the novel shines as a genuinely good moment because of all the culture clashing as wordplay becomes misunderstanding and misunderstanding becomes violence. Cornell also brings in two Silurians/Earth Reptiles to represent Blood Heat and Plasticine from No Future to serve as the music for the wedding. The Silurians are of course part of a chase reminiscent to the cliffhanger to Episode Four of Doctor Who and the Silurians and are of course in a relationship. They bring that style of comedy to the novel while Plasticine allow us to reminisce on Benny’s past relationships in some beautifully done nostalgia tripping. Then the Doctor brings in Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson who go on their own little mystery to solve in some hilarious running gags. Holmes and Watson are two of many show stoppers and give Roz something to do in the novel which is great for all three of them. Add in some sexual tension between Benny and Watson and you have a recipe for comedy genius.
Now it’s time for us to get to the happy couple, Jason and Benny who tie the knot after over two hundred pages of arguing like an old married couple. Yeah they’re pretty much meant for each other and of course the antics that they get up to in this novel are hilarious. There is slapping, sleeping around, clones, the Master, and of course a marriage to be had. The crazy is upped in every scene and Benny really earns her middle name of Surprise as everything tries to go wrong as there are Pakhars there to have a lot of problems and a cricket match that lasts fifty pages. The amount of humor with the two characters as they have to learn to live with each other is just hilarious and you believe by the end of the novel that they will live a happy, if dysfunctional, life together travelling through time with the Time Rings they were given. The Doctor actually gets to be the one to give Benny away as her father is still missing somewhere out there. The Doctor has to plan the wedding and the man is trying his best to master manipulate things into place, but of course none of it works. He has great ideas that really allow the characters to explore their dynamics with each other for a lot of what amounts to a great novel.
To summarize, everything will come to an end eventually and Happy Endings starts preparing for that inevitable goodbye from the Virgin line. Benny gets her happily ever after with Jason and the Doctor is allowed to go on with Chris and Roz. The cameos come fast and you can play a great game of spot the reference. This review only mentioned less than half of the brilliant characters which include, the Brigadier, Doris, Benton, Yates, the Master of the Land of Fiction, Keri, Kitai, Hamlet Macbeth, Ruby Duvall, Muddwych from Birthright, and of course many more. It isn’t perfect as a lot of the story doesn’t have a plot but still it’s a happy ending. 90/100