‘Qualify’ by Vera Nazarian is a surprising hit

Qualify by Vera Nazarian is a surprising hit

Lauren Alison, Copy Editor

“Qualify” by Vera Nazarian, is the first book in the young adult science fiction series “The Atlantis Grail.” Set in the year 2047, “Qualify” follows 16-year-old Gwenevere (Gwen) Lark in a time not so different from today. The only problem is that there is an asteroid heading straight for Earth, leaving the whole population with no other option than to accept their fate. That is, until, the Atlanteans, descendants from Earth that relocated to a different planet come back offering a solution for one million teenagers. In order to go back with the Atlanteans to their planet and have another chance at life, these teenagers must qualify in order to enter in the upcoming competition determining who can and who cannot be saved.

Though not well-known, “Qualify” is definitely a hidden gem with lots of things to admire. The main character, Gwen Lark, is someone who many could easily relate to. A self-proclaimed geek and klutz, Gwen is someone who will make readers laugh and, at times, feel sorry for. One great part of the book is the diversity and personalities among other Nazarian created characters. Gwen’s siblings, Gracie, Gordon (Gordie) and George Lark actually play a somewhat large role throughout the book. In many books today, the family is easily forgotten and looked over, but Nazarian did a great job of including family dynamics into the story.

One of the other main characters is Aeson Kassiopei, the commanding officer of Atlantis’s army. Often times, Aeson is seen being silent and observant with the occasional choice word. While he is not given a huge role in this book, it is clear that he will become very important in future books.

Throughout the book, there are very few and small things to be annoyed by. One of the main things that comes to mind is the dialogue at times, which can feel a little bit overproduced and lacking realty, but not enough so that it would ruin the story. Another thing that can be slightly irritating is the time skips. When reading, the days would go from being picked apart by the hour to jumping weeks ahead.

If you are looking for a high-stakes action book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then this is the book for you. Nazarian did a great job at building and executing the world that she created along with the competition made for those seeking to make it off of earth alive. The second book in the series is “Compete” and another book in the series, “Win,” is set to come out some time this spring.