18. Mirror's Edge 2000 (Carol Davis)

Mirror's Edge 2000 (Carol Davis)

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Spoiler Alert! (highlight to read)

It's 1999, five years after the Leap that started it all. The holes in Sam's memory are starting to fill, the man in the Waiting Room is disturbingly calm, and Ziggy is dispensing information that can hardly be believed. Something is about to happen. Something that will change Sam's life and the lives of those who love him--forever...

Publishing Information:
Quantum Leap 18: Mirror's Edge
by Carol Davis Esther D. Reese
Paperback | Berkley | 2000-02-01 | listprice: $6.99
ISBN-10: 0425173518 | ISBN-13: 9780425173510
I'm about three-quarters through this one, and I have mixed feelings about it. In general, she's a good writer; I don't have a problem with the writing. The story for the most part is interesting...It just doesn't work for QL. I did like the idea of Sam coming to terms with feeling like he wasn't there for his family. I could understand the author was attempting to tie up loose ends. The biggest problem I'm having so far is that Sam is being portrayed as a selfish jerk who turned his back on everyone because he cared about his work more than anything. It's totally out of character. He was a little quirky, but he was a warm hearted person who loved his family and cared about the people around him...Maybe a little too much at times. Much of the story seems to consist of Sam dealing with guilt feelings rather than doing what he is supposed to on the leap, and there is too much focus on the Project rather than what Sam is doing. Al is off too; he's way too crude and foul-mouthed. His humor was somewhat off color at times but it was tongue-in-cheek for the most part. He didn't throw around foul language indiscriminately. He could be a bit testy but he was a good person underneath the gruffness. Also, Tom Beckett is a total horse's behind here. The Beckett family wasn't perfect or anything, but they loved and supported each other. I probably won't be going out of my way to read this one again.
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Also, Tom Beckett is a total horse's behind here. The Beckett family wasn't perfect or anything, but they loved and supported each other.

I've come across several stories, including a couple in the Virtual Seasons, where Tom is just made completely unlikable. I really liked the character in the two episodes he appeared in -- he's one of my favorite minor characters in the series -- and I agree with you about the Beckett family. Even when he and Sam are at odds with each other in 'The Leap Home' it's not because Tom is a jerk. They're just coming from different points of view and I think that's made very clear. So it's a little surprising to me when writers make this choice for the character. But people have different visions of all the characters I guess, and with minor characters authors can take more liberties.

I don't know if writers add foul language because they think it will make the characters more true to life or what. QL was primetime and more family oriented so it wasn't going to have that kind of language in it. Maybe they would have put more of it in if it was on at a later time or on HBO or something. But I think it's unnecessary and it can be really jarring to read, especially when that kind of language is put in Sam's mouth. But even with Al some authors can get really excessive.
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You're probably right that the show being in prime time and more family oriented having something to do with the character's language, but bad language wouldn't have fit Sam and Al's characters anyway.

I liked Tom a lot in The Leap Back episodes also, he was a good guy.

It's not so much that I object to bad language so long as it adds to the story or fits the character (even though I think it is possible to write a good story without it) but in this case it doesn't do either. It's not in character here even for Al. Most of the stuff he said was to tease and/or annoy Sam I think, and to have a contrast between the two characters.

The book isn't as horrible as some people on Amazon seem to think, but it's by no means the best one or my favorite.
The book isn't as horrible as some people on Amazon seem to think, but it's by no means the best one or my favorite.

Some of the reviews of this novel on Amazon are absolutely brutal. I really appreciate your more balanced review of it.
People can be cruel if they feel someone is messing with their favorite characters. There were people on Amazon who loved it too. It is just a fictional story, and I learned a long time ago there is always the option of simply not continuing to read a book I am having trouble getting through. I don't doubt Carol cared about Quantum Leap or have a problem with her writing ability; I just don't see the characters as she portrays them.
This is by far among my top favorites. Even the second read had me on the edge of my seat. This novel has the most intelligent portrayal of the show and suggestions in my opinion.

I found that what Tom provided here was extremely well thought out and had a beautifully painful validity. He came through raw and powerful, I could actually imagine the actor performing all of the lines in this novel; the expressions and the tone of voice. His interaction with the other characters was also very believable but something wasn't answered that I wish had been. Did he recognize that Al is the POW from Maggie Dawson's Pulitzer winning photo? Not that this is relevant but it's something this novel always leaves me wondering. What was well addressed however is how Tom found out that it had been Sam in Vietnam and that he'd noticed how strange it was that "Magic Williams" was calling him by his first name that day.

There's a tidbit in Another Time, Another Place that suggests that Tom was intended for Donna's role in The Leap Back but it was decided that Donna represented a much stronger message. I believe this is true and the tidbit included that so did Scott but I would have liked just the same to see present day Tom, why they could not have included both characters as in this novel is unclear to me.

The interaction between the two characters was very intense and reaching. One of my favorite scenes is when they are discussing being able to understand the plausibility of the alternate timelines before Sam changed their lives; when Donna stood Sam up at the alter due to daddy issues and Tom was killed in Vietnam.

The portrayal of Donna really took Al's line "You're an amazing woman" at the end of The Leap Back to a whole new level. I'll admit her stubbornness to remain devoted to Sam can be considered a bit stupid but there are aspects of her character here that were pretty powerful and intelligent involving her relationship with Al.
First was when she'd considered how she is able to understand how Beth must have felt but my favorite thing is how due to his knowledge of the original timeline Al was quite resentful of Donna for a while after the Star Crossed leap. This I found was pretty smart, Sam is his best friend, his bro so he should have some initial hate towards the woman who'd stood him up at the alter and crushed him.

The leap explored an interesting possibility, of Sam leaping just mere months from his home time and regaining memories that have consistently been repressed including Donna and how it suggested the consequences of the Killin' Time leap was very well done. Something else that I found intriguing, eye popping actually was how Ziggy's first suggestion of the task questioned GTFW's value of Sam. At the same time however one could call it pretty ridiculous. It's honestly not believable considering TV leaps such as Last Dance... and Trilogy Part 1. My favorite thing about it however was Al's response, it was spot on.

This was by far the best portrayal of Sam reaching his breaking point among the several in the novel series and I really enjoyed how he insisted on helping the young lady with Bulimia. I'm just a sucker for that side of Sam.

One thing I didn't understand though was how Sam got extremely light headed right before leaping out at the end. What happened there?

Overall great novel.