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The Atlantis Grail has been optioned for development as a feature film series and/or TV series.

You have two options. You die, or you Qualify.

The year is 2047. An extinction-level asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and the descendents of ancient Atlantis have returned from the stars in their silver ships to offer humanity help.

But there’s a catch.

They can only take a tiny percent of the Earth’s population back to the colony planet Atlantis. And in order to be chosen, you must be a teen, you must be bright, talented, and athletic, and you must Qualify.

Sixteen-year-old Gwenevere Lark is determined not only to Qualify but to rescue her entire family.

Because there’s a loophole.

If you are good enough to Qualify, you are eligible to compete in the brutal games of the Atlantis Grail, which grants all winners the laurels, high tech luxuries, and full privileges of Atlantis Citizenship. And if you are in the Top Ten, then all your wildest wishes are granted… Such as curing your mother’s cancer.

There is only one problem.

Gwen Lark is known as a klutz and a nerd. While she’s a hotshot in classics, history, science, and languages, the closest she’s come to sports is a backyard pool and a skateboard.

This time she is in over her head, and in for a fight of her life, against impossible odds and world-class competition—including Logan Sangre, the most amazing guy in her class, the one she’s been crushing on, and who doesn’t seem to know she exists.

Because every other teen on Earth has the same idea.

You Qualify or you die.

* * *

Now you can read Chapter One in its entirety (click here)!

* * *

600 pages, Paperback

First published December 20, 2014

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About the author

Vera Nazarian

79 books969 followers
Vera Nazarian is a two-time Nebula Award Finalist, award-winning artist, and member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, a writer with a penchant for moral fables and stories of intense wonder, true love, and intricacy.

She immigrated to the USA from the former USSR as a kid, sold her first story at the age of 17, and since then has published numerous works in anthologies and magazines, and has seen her fiction translated into eight languages.

She is the author of critically acclaimed novels Dreams of the Compass Rose and Lords of Rainbow , romantic Renaissance epic fantasy trilogy Cobweb Bride , as well as the outrageous parodies Mansfield Park and Mummies and Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons , Pride and Platypus: Mr. Darcy's Dreadful Secret in her humorous and surprisingly romantic Supernatural Jane Austen Series , and most recently the bestselling high-octane science fiction series The Atlantis Grail , now optioned for film.

After many years in Los Angeles, Vera lives in a small town in Vermont, and uses her Armenian sense of humor and her Russian sense of suffering to bake conflicted pirozhki and make art.

Take the fun quiz to find out Which of the Lords of Rainbow do You Serve?

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5 stars
3,928 (48%)
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3 stars
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283 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 791 reviews
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 150 books37.5k followers
December 30, 2014
The thing about Vera Nazarian's novels is that they never go where one expects. Some are more successful than others (and that sort of thing is completely subjective) but cookie-cutter, they are not.

Same with this YA dystopia. From the description it sounds like another Hunger Games or Divergent: teens fighting for their lives for a goal, as the world watches. But I think the relationships are largely smarter than those, especially Divergent, whose characters read to me like cardboard Types instead of complex characters, and the relationships too much like TV-drama-rama. There are a couple of Types here, too, but the majority of the characters are interesting and unpredictable, and their character development is convincing. There are also a couple of interesting surprises, promising payoff in later books.

The initial setup sounds crazy: the advanced, peaceful Atlanteans (humans who were here when Atlantis was a continent) are back, and have only enough spacecraft to save a very small percentage of humanity by taking them to their planet when the asteroid heading toward Earth smashes into the planet.

Only teens are permitted to compete for qualification. The training is brutal, meanwhile unrest is rising in the rest of the world, which of course doesn't want to just sit by and wait for destruction. Central is Gwen Lark and her three sibs, who are all sent off by their professor dad and their mom who once was an opera singer before cancer ruined her health and her voice.

Singing turns out to be important, as Atlantean tech is sound based. Gwen is a teen nerd, making friends and enemies among the others in her training group. There are three levels of tests to endure, and the cost is death. Meanwhile, Gwen is learning about the Atlanteans, whose peaceful and superior pose hides some ambivalences, and some pretty cool tech. Above all, Gwen is learning about relationships.

The pacing, once the story gets going about a third of the way through, accelerates unrelentingly, and the Atlantean culture developed some promising twists.

I got sucked in and scarcely came up for air--now I hope that the second book won't be long in coming!
Profile Image for ♚ ember.
87 reviews
July 19, 2015

2.5 stars.

Ma cosa ho appena letto...?
This sentence in Italian perfectly sums up my reactions to this book. I guess the rating says it all, but unluckily, I'm not done rambling.


Dear Qualify,
I really, really, really wanted to like you. Like, seriously, really.
The premises were promising and the setting quite original and unique, somehow different from the others dystopian novels I read.
It sounded awesome, right? Right.
And I really wished this book would be awesome. But, guess what?
Qualify wasn't awesome. Just meh.
Actually, I did enjoy this book, or at least some parts of it. For instance the semi-finals idea was great and really gripping. On the other hand, the first half of the book annoyed me to no endーit was focused on Gwen inside the RQC, thoroughly explaining her routine during Qualification. How she gets a demerit in every agility class, how she asks interesting and pertinent questions in Culture Classes, how she drools over Logan every time she sees him and so on.
The writing is poor, lackingーI'm not exactly in the position to judge the writing since, well, English isn't my mother language, but it was just awful.
A lot of parts could have been cut and the writer told us a lot instead of showing us.
The things I enjoyed were few descriptions in the book and the concept of the Atlanteans and their sound-based technology. The semi-finals part was reallyーwow!
But, seriously, what's up with all that 'holy moly' thing?
I just didn't like the main characters, but I'll explain everything later. I just know there are A LOT of minor characters (Xelio, Oalla, George, Zoe...) who are briefly introduced and then just disappear, because the romance between Logan and Gwen hogs all the book. This annoyed me, because I didn't get the chance get to know them better, even thought the premises were interesting.
A special mention goes to Dawn, since I loved her calm and collected character. I found her truly original, and I think she deserves more action.

The characters.
It's really hard. Because the plot was good even though the main characters ruined everything. I just couldn't connect with them, especially Gwen. I think the book might have been much better if Gwen had stopped complaining and the love triangle hadn't been there.

Gwen: Okay, I have a serious problem with Gwen. And, no, that's not like I loathe her because she's a geek ー being a geek myself, I perfectly understand all the bullying dynamics and all those harrowing situations. But I couldn't connect with her. Not even a bit.
The writer describes her as a smart and intelligent character, but BELIEVE ME, she's not.
She's just a snotty and obnoxious brat who spends her time bragging about how (supposedly) clever she is, fawning over Logan, whining about her blisters and the oh-so-scary bullies, fawning over Aeson, complaining because Blayne is a mean bastard who doesn't want her around (and I don't blame him for that), fawning over Xelio, disobeying any orders she's given, making comments on every good-looking guy in the campus (Daniel, Blayne, Keruvat, Oalla(?), her brother).
Oh, and then moping because the impossibly-terribly-achingly-monstrously-incredibly-devastatingly handsome Pilot Aeson Kass told her she is not that interesting. Urgh.

Logan: it appears that Logan Sangre is in this book just to make us readers squeal for him. Because Logan is impossibly attractive, super-duper clever, incredibly athletic and... well, nothing else. Let me rephrase: Logan is in this book just to be stalked by Gwen (who claims he's been her not-so-secret crush for years) and to fall in (insta)love with Gwen just something like four days after meeting her.
Aaaand, did I mention his hunky eyes, his hunky face, his hunky voice, his hunky abs, his hunky hair, his hunky eyebrows and his hunky, sculptured and electrifying lipssss? No? Your loss.

Aeson: the other Atlantean guy. Other than being a master at er-du, combat, piloting super-technological spaceships and douchebaggery, he's also Gwen's love interest. Yu-hu.
I mean, nothing happens between those two, but seems like she's important to him. *rolls eyes*
He spends most of his time yelling at Gwen and trying to keep his I'm-sexy-and-I-know-it façade. Obviously, the fact that all the Atlanteans call him Phoebus and worship him like a GOD contributes to increase his self-esteem. Just a little bit, huh.
But eventually, he ends up falling in love with plain and undisciplined Gwen. But, ehi, that CAN happen! It's a fantasy book!!1!1!! Hooray!1!!1!

*and, seriously, what's up with that grip of friendship thing?*

There was a whole bunch of situations that made me (literally) face-palm.

Well, I'm finished now. This book didn't convince me in certain respects, but I would definitely recommend it. If the author writes a sequel, I will read it, because after all I'm still curious about the next book.
Ma per ora io esco~


edit: the author stated that in the next book there will be more Aeson/Gwen moments. MA PERCHÉ 'STA ROBA *sighs heavily*
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 76 books16.9k followers
February 6, 2017
I downloaded this book because I really liked the concept - a giant asteroid is heading for Earth and the people from Atlantis, who have left Earth thousands of years ago have returned to help out - but they can only rescue a million people. The powers that be decided those aged 12 to 19 can compete to qualify to be rescued. The main protagonists is a 16 year old girl who is smart and who pre-qualifies. There's lots of details about the training and her interactions with the other candidates. The semi-finals was a brutal race through LA and then the finals was also a test of endurance and intelligence. I liked the characters and enjoyed the story. The ending was rushed and a bit hard to visualize exactly what was going on - more pages were spent on the semi-finals than the finals - I would have liked more on the finals.

I'm curious how the story advances and will continue to read the series!
Profile Image for Eureca Laurice.
161 reviews4 followers
April 20, 2015
It’s a long story that could have been cut short.

I didn't skim, I swear by the old Gods and the new ones. Its part boring, I don't know if my friends here (in Goodreads) will read this, but I'm sure hell not.

The writing is atrocious, that on first few chapters they'll decide to dnfed this already. But not me, alas. Oh well, for the past few months, I am reading on cloud nine. All my read books is so good that it turns to just three stars in my shelf. I badly needed a not so well written book, you know the saying sometimes you need bad in your system? (Is that right? I just made it up. lol, anyways)

Have you read Earth Girl, no? Come on, you need to read that, believable future a nice reference of Carrington Event and some outer galactic nation. The story is a fuse of The Testing and Earth Girl but not in that level of awesomeness. I wish it was it must be nice to finally find a free gem on galley.

As I was saying it has a lot of cons than it has its pros.

- It’s atrocious writing. I may not have read tons of books but I know what a good nice written one is. I'm surely can know that.
- It’s way too long. A lot of chunks could be revised into small parts then chunk all the unnecessary chapters.
- Vague explanation on apocalypse to come, it’s just become "some big asteroid will land on earth, then the Atlantisnean wanted to save few people on earth". I was laughing hard, few eye rolls and nose flaring. It is year 2047. More eye rolls.

- Underdeveloped side characters.

- More telling than showing that result to
- Vague world building.
- And the worst of all, monotonous dialogue. It feels like she was just talking to herself, just different voices. You know, when you’re reading out loud and the character change to mouse then suddenly a lion, that change of voice.

It's not the worst book, but I'm quite satisfied to its worseness and it has its pro's in it.

- Its plot, the idea of Atlantis and Orichalcum as its prime element.

Overall, it’s not that bad book but a not well edited one. It needed a good publisher, and a whole lot of revisions and dissemination.

Overall Rating:

Thank NetGalley for providing me ARC of this book, I hope that it'll be edited nicely.
December 22, 2015
This book completely took me by surprise!!! At first I was comparing it to Red Rising...don't know why but it had that sort of feel. But damn!!!! This book was good! I can't wait to read the next book and be ready for book three when it drops in Feb!!! I cried at the end because I sure as hell wasn't expecting that crap!!! Come on Gee's you can do. Gee-two I know your ingenuity will overpower and hopefully prevail. PS: Aeson is out of this world hot..lol
Profile Image for SA Krishnan.
Author 35 books175 followers
July 23, 2020
Excellent dark science fiction.
The premise of the story is that earth is going to wiped out by an asteroid and only the children could qualify to go on rescue ships to the planet of Atlantis. The story is told from the point of view of Gwen and her siblings and from that we learn that Qualification is a brutal process.
Excellently written with dark themes running throughout, the story is gripping. The cliffhangar at the end of the story is expected but still leaves any reader wanting to read the next book.
Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Profile Image for Darla.
142 reviews
January 29, 2017
DNF. I just can't with this book. I was SO excited to read it. It's such an intriguing idea!! An asteroid headed to Earth! Ancient Atlanteans living on their own planet come to rescue a selection of people from Earth that Qualify! It sounds amazing!

Stop getting excited. It's not.

First of all, it's terribly written. I get that the narrator is a teenager, and I appreciate keeping it real with the types of language and wording an author uses for teenagers, but honestly, this feels so slapdash and unpolished. It feels like a first draft. Phrasing like, "trying not to look over the edge down" kept making me stumble. She randomly starts calling the Earth students "Candidates" out of nowhere. Like, one second, there isn't an official name, and the next, Gwen refers to her classmates as "Candidates", and then it's used as a title like it was more naturally established, when it wasn't.

Secondly, the characters are a who's who of cliches. Gwen is supposed to be a totally brilliant brainiac, but she is flighty, flaky, and completely idiotic. She has zero common sense...to the extent, she would be too dumb to accomplish anything academically, because she's too dumb to figure it out. At one point, she says, "Holy moly, has it already come to this? The Atlantean Instructors already know me by name." She says it like, "Oh em gee, I am so smart, and such a stellar student, they know me!!! They know me!!" In reality, though, SHE JUST FREAKING TOLD THE TEACHER HER NAME.

Laronda, to me, was a really likable character. She's also black, in case the author doesn't make that clear enough with her repetitive mentions of her hair type. Don't worry, though, her incessant usage of "girlfriend" and stereotypical actions, such as doing "a side-to-side thing with her neck and wags her finger in the air" will incessantly remind you. And you can rest assured that ALL of the Earth People of Color in the book are treated in this manner.

Logan is Gwen's crush, and he's SO dreamy, and SO athletic, and SO perfect, and SO who effing cares?

The book is also incredibly boring. I read a quarter of the book - fully 25%. That's at least 150 pages. In that time, I only made it to Gwen's SECOND day of classes after qualifying. I can't drag myself through more of unlikable Gwen's bitching and moaning about how effing out of shape she is. She can't even run two freakin laps around the gym without practically collapsing. It's absurd.

I really wanted to finish this book and be absorbed enough to read the rest of the series. I wanted to learn more about Atlantis. But I can't stand the main character, all of the other characters are one dimensional cliches, and the story is so boring, I literally fall asleep reading it.
Profile Image for Em.
349 reviews15 followers
May 23, 2023
I have no words except this was perfection


It’s been a year since I read this book and I still think about it daily
Profile Image for Wealhtheow.
2,448 reviews548 followers
November 9, 2017
An asteroid is speeding toward Earth, and its impact will cause humanity's extinction. Shortly before impact, space ships carrying the descendants of Atlanteans (it really was a real place on Earth! except then they left for another planet!) appear above major cities and alert everyone that they can carry 10 million people to safety. It's only a tiny fraction of Terrans, but at least it means those who are smartest, fittest, and most likely to thrive on Atlantis will be saved. Gwenevere Lark is one of the few teens who qualify for training, in hopes of getting a place on one of the space ships. She survives music lessons, combat training, Atlantean culture lessons...and along the way demonstrates real ingenuity, bravery, and loyalty.

Stuff I liked:
The alien metal that can be controlled by musical tones.
Actually demonstrating that Gwen comes up with imaginative solutions, as opposed to just telling us.
At times the sense of heartbreak and loss comes through well. The candidates are faced with a terrible choice: qualify and leave behind your family, friends, and parents to die on a doomed planet, or stay on Earth and probably die with everyone and everything you know.

Stuff I didn't like:
Laronda is such a stereotypical sassy black best friend that she made me uncomfortable. She says "girlfriend" after 99% of her lines, has no plot of her own, and exists entirely to talk about how great Gwen is and gossip about Gwen's love life.
The Semi-Finals were brutal, but in a way that felt far too similar to The Hunger Games, from the candidates being ranked in likelihood of success and the media interviewing the top candidates, to Gwen insisting on laying the body of a fallen competitor among flowers.
Speaking of which, I do not get the Atlanteans' decisions here. They've got an incredibly technologically advanced society, so why are they selecting people based on physical fitness? And why are they encouraging candidates to kill each other--that just means they're going to be stuck selecting a bunch of murderers! Atlantis is still mysterious, so maybe all this will be explained in a later book, but based on their stated priorities and values, the way they set up training and trials seems really illogical to me.
Gwen and her boyfriend make out every day all over training camp, even though getting caught will instantly DisQualify them. She's really that stupid? It also makes the Atlanteans look incompetent, since they're supposed to be constantly monitoring all the candidates, and Gwen and her bf even make out underwater in a swimming pool while Atlanteans are swimming laps.
I didn't like any of the romance subplots, actually. As soon as Gwen's bf tells her his secret mission, I wanted nothing to do with him. And Gwen obviously has a crush on the Super Best Pilot/Fighter/Crown Prince Atlantean, and he on her, but they're both unwilling to admit it. That felt like the author wanted to create love-triangle tension and plot for the next book, but it just made me impatient with everyone involved.
A big deal is made of being able to transfer points between candidates during Finals, but none of the bully characters every try to force anyone to transfer points. The point transfer thing serves no purpose. The Final competition was overall boring-- No strategy, no knowledge of culture or combat training, nothing required except a certain amount of stamina. Seems a bad way to choose who survives Earth's destruction and who doesn't.
There are new rules at every stage of training and testing, and they are always complex and confusing. My eyes glazed over reading them.

Overall, not the worst YA sf I've ever read, but it was too long, Gwen was not as believable as she could have been, and I wanted to edit out several plot lines and characters.
Profile Image for Literary Mouse.
20 reviews2 followers
January 22, 2016
I really wanted this book to be amazing!

But it's not...and that's upsetting, because now, instead there's a black hole burned into where my imagination should be.

sigh I guess I should start at the beginning, well not quite the beginning but close enough. I don't understand why there had to almost a minute by minute description of Gwen's first weeks of classes. I would have stopped reading right then and there were it not for the thought that had gone into creating the 'science' side of the Atlantean's technology. It was fascinating and so well thought out, which may also explain why there are almost entire essays of explanations given.

But Gwen, oh dear Gwen, if there's ever been a more narcissistic character I have yet to meet them. She's unbearable. And yet everyone seems to love her- it just doesn't make sense!

The love 'triangle' is ridiculous- how anybody is supposed to believe that one, let alone two people can be so enthralled with such an irritating girl is incomprehensible.

There are also a lot of sub-characters, none of whom are properly developed and just seem to float in and out of the story as and when Gwen needs some extra support or needs someone to tell her how wonderful she is.

The story is told from Gwen's point of view, so I'm almost tempted to believe that this 'glossing' over anyone who isn't Gwen was done on purpose to further support her self-absorbed image. But then again why would somebody purposefully write a character that is so unlikeable?

Anyway, I don't mean to be scathing, clearly there's a lot of research behind this book, but it's unfortunate when a book has such a good premise only to be met with such utter disappointment.
Profile Image for Thais • tata.lifepages •.
437 reviews693 followers
September 7, 2022
Review: 4.5 stars!

Fans of the tv show The 100 and the series The Hunger Game's are in for a ride with this cross-genre YA dystopian scifi series!

It reads just like a movie and I can totally see why this series has been optioned for film production. It has everything! From romance to scifi to action and space opera.

There is an asteroid heading for Earth and it promises the end of life as we know it. Humans have zero option, that is, until the Atlantians, an ancient human civilization who left Earth generations ago, come back and offer to help a select few of the best of humanity. To ensure this, they host a competition to determine who will QUALIFY to be rescued by the Atlantians.

Gwen and her 3 teenage siblings, will compete to qualify. One of my favorite aspects of the story was the exciting tests and training that they had to endure, I was literally gripping the edge of my seat rooting for the Gee Fours. I also found it very interesting that the author choose sound as an important aspect of the Atlantian culture, I will not mention much so not to give you guys spoilers! The story is very inclusive as it also has disability rep and a variety of cultural rep. Both the semi -finals and the finals are deadly challenges, expect very high stakes as these teenagers will qualify or DIE!

I'm excited for the next book, where the trials will begin in space.. 😱

Thank you to the author for gifting me a copy for review !
Profile Image for Ve (ve_xo).
473 reviews100 followers
September 8, 2022
For fans of dystopian and sci-fi, this one is definitely one for you. This one is outside of my goto genre, but I enjoyed it! Reminded me a lot of the concept of The Hunger Games with loads of sprinkles of scifi. There were so many aspects that kept me hooked!

I always enjoy the concept of family in books, Gwen has an amazing relationship with the people around her. Which made it so much easier to like her. I enjoyed her love for books and the way she wanted to learn everything, she seemed to be a sponge when it came to consuming knowledge. The plot was super enticing and it definitely kept me engaged, I dont think I could survive in this world lol, but it was great to see the process of qualification! It made me think of the possibilities of our world *insert nervousness here lol*.

One of the things I really loved was the incorporation of Atlantis, we have this place that is such a mystery and Nazarian gives us all sorts of possibilities! The plot was fast paced and the details were pretty easy to follow. I am looking forward to the next book!

Huge thanks to the author for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own.
523 reviews2 followers
July 14, 2016
I am not generally a fan of series because I usually find either the first book is clumsy in establishing the characters and plot and never gets into any real action or the subsequent books don't build well off the first one. However, I got an offer for this book free from for Amazon. I needed some good mindless escape literature, so I figured why not.

Well, I found this book to be entertaining and populated with fun characters. Gwen Lark is an awesome narrator. Her voice resonates in my head. She made me care about her family and her friends. I admire her curiosity and the fact that although she has been bullied, she is not going to just give in to the bullies she finds now.

I think I read this book in less than 3 days, and I immediately bought and read the 2nd book. It did not disappoint. Finally, I found preview chapters of the 3rd book, and I am now stuck in Gwen's world waiting for the completed 3rd book.

Gwen's voice and her predicament are in my head, and right now, she won't let me read anything else!
Profile Image for Amber M. McCarter.
265 reviews24 followers
September 19, 2018
I'm not sure what it is about this book... It really isn't very well done - in terms of both content and composition - and yet, I feel compelled to continue reading this series. I could hardly put it down... I can't figure out why! It isn't terribly done, but certainly a far cry from quality literature, and not the sort of book I would normally be this hooked by... Baffling.
Profile Image for (old.enough.for.fairytales).
498 reviews217 followers
September 8, 2022
This book reminded me why I used to devour YA Dystopian books! I can’t remember the last one I read prior to Qualify, but Qualify was definitely a welcome return to that genre. I was also pleasantly surprised to find other just how beloved this book is across the world! I love finding new fandoms.

Qualify felt like such a unique take on the YA dystopian that we’re all familiar with. Though it contained some of the expected tropes (looking at you, love triangle), it wove them into the story in a fun and engaging way.

If you like The Hunger Games and Illuminae (it def gave me Illuminae vibes?), I for sure recommend you check out this series!

Thanks to the author for gifting me a copy. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for OhWell.
743 reviews
May 9, 2023
A mash-up of a lot of Hunger Games and a bit of Divergent, requiring way more than the usual suspension of disbelief. Here are just a few things I had problems with:
- Semi-Finals and Finals. Okay, so the Atlanteans are supposedly such a peaceful and advanced civilization. But yet they set up tasks in which Candidates are given free license to kill, and not only that, the organizers themselves release killer drones on competitors, burn them alive, let them drown, etc. I would have understood if they wanted to select those who think out of the box, but it looks like they are just as interested in ruthless psychopaths. Makes you wonder what kind of society they really have, and how much they lied about it.
- Gwen the special snowflake and her solutions to every single problem. It would have been much more realistic to have some other teens come up with ideas, not just Gwen and Gwen and Gwen again. It started to get annoying, as it’s highly doubtful she was the only smart one there. Come to think of it, Gwen herself was pretty annoying sometimes.
- What are the chances that all four Gees passed Semi-Finals, and all of Gwen’s friends as well, even with their less-than-stellar scores?
- Supposedly there were riots and protests everywhere, but during Semi-Finals in LA life seems to go on as usual. Regular traffic on the highways, with no one batting an eye at hoverboards, drones, gunfire, etc.
- What’s with Logan Sangre’s super important undercover task for which he wants to recruit Gwen? He tells her to pay special attention to what Aeson Kass has to say before the Semi-Finals, and then they never have a conversation on the subject again. And talking about Logan, I liked him only up to the moment when he confessed he was on a mission and had actually known about Gwen’s crush for years.
- Not a fan of the love triangle. Gwen making out with Logan and lusting after Aeson hardly works in her favour. She actually finds all Atlanteans appealing, doesn’t she?
Anyways, so why 3* and not a lower rating? Despite its faults, I found Qualify compulsively readable, and as I happen to like Aeson, remote prickliness and all, I am planning to continue with the series. Also, Atlantis technology is pretty cool.

Note after reading Win: I'm shelving the series as NA instead of YA.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
15 reviews1 follower
May 4, 2018
This was an amazing first installment in The Atlantis Grail Series!!! Even with 600 pages, I blew through it in 3 days, it was so good!
Vera has perfected her Storyteller voice and had me invested in the fate of the 4 Gees and all who are dear to them.
Several times, the plot twists had me seriously concerned about the outcome and when the unexpected actually did happen, all I could do was snuggle down and keep reading until I knew the Gees were all okay.
I bought the next 2 books in the Series after Chapter 3 and I cannot wait to find out what happens next!!!
Profile Image for Amber-louise.
52 reviews4 followers
February 8, 2015
WOW what a gripper!
Qualify is a dystopian, sci-fi and YA novel set in 2047 after the human race is all facing a fatalistic oncoming asteroid that will wipe out the Earth. The descendants of the historic and sunken Atlantis are the only hope as they offer to save humanity by taking them back to their new home on a different planet; the new Atlantis. What’s the catch? Only those between the ages of 12-19 can apply to be saved and they will ONLY be saved if they qualify.

We follow the protagonist Gwenevere Lark through the trials and tribulations of the qualification challenges and through challenges of a more personal nature. Along with the remaining “Four Gees” (her siblings) she must learn all there is to know about Atlantis, how to fight, survive and the limits to which the body can reach before breaking. You either qualify, or you die.

This book… wow, this book! Even thought there are a LOT of dystopian YA novels out there at the moment, this is DEFINITELY worth the read. It’s kind of a combination between Hunger Games and Harry Potter… somehow. You are immersed into this world of space shuttles, sound controlled technology and hover boards and just FEEL like you’re experiencing everything along with the characters. It is incredibly well written with a pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout and grips you in all the best ways.

Each and every character within this book is interesting as they all struggle through their own personal developments and battles. The Atlanteans add a touch of mystery and power, which somehow intimidates us through the words in the book in the same way as their interactions with the other characters.

We actually gain knowledge through the book too thanks to our very intelligent protagonist and can really believe in the sci-fi elements in the book, which is something I personally struggle with usually. I can’t wait to learn more about Atlantis in the next book and see how certain relationships develop!

For a 600 page book it was easy to read and digest and I was left wanting more at the end. Some of the best topics covered in this novel are: life and death situations, tests of ability and competence, overcoming bullying, combat and the fighting style Er-Du, sabotage and terrorist groups and a love that you don’t know if you can trust.

I had only a few niggles: (****SPOILERS****… kind of)
How quickly candidates were prepared to kill after a strict “No Violence” rule, how bullying within the dorms went unnoticed and how easy it actually seems to qualify (since most around the main character never seem to get hurt or struggle even when ranked lowly).

Overall a highly gripping, fast-paced book with lots to think about whilst eagerly waiting for the next instalment ☺
Profile Image for Rnolter Nolter.
60 reviews
September 3, 2017
The scene where Gwen levitates a shuttle is probably the most powerful prose I've read ever. I felt as I was there and could really feel the emotion of the situation. Fantastic read!!
Profile Image for Avril Martin.
212 reviews3 followers
January 30, 2019
This is one of those books that I wanted to stay up late to read.
It reminded me a little bit of the Hunger Games in that teens have to compete - in this book it's to get a spot back to the planet Atlantis before a meteor destroys the Earth. The main character, Gwen, is a straight A student that hates PE, so how will she keep up when half of the training is physical? Her kindness and determination and nerdiness are all endearing.
259 reviews2 followers
April 12, 2023
One of my favorite books of all time. Earth is on a timeclock to be destroyed by an asteroid! Gwen Lark and her siblings must do the impossible and Qualify with millions of other kids from all over the World. They must live or die to achieve the Ultimate Goal. Life on a different planet, Atlantis! Read this book! Every word is worth it!
Profile Image for Bee.
191 reviews24 followers
April 30, 2023
This is the beginning of one of my favourite sci-fi series. I absolutely love love love the storyline and the characters are somewhat cliché but I still love them.

Though, I must say that I always find the first third of this book a bit tedious on second, third etc read throughs because I just want the drama to happen - but I know the beginning is important for the world building :)

Ok, the romance in this book is a lot cliché and awkward (but there’s a reason for that I think in my opinion ;D which is kinda explained in the second book :D) but don’t let that put you off!

Definitely worth the read because book two is even better!! (I loooove book 2!)
66 reviews
October 5, 2015
I really tried to read this book. It was a free download so I thought I'd give it a shot. Three sentences in and I felt like I was in for a "Hunger Games" remake. By the second screen, I couldn't take it anymore. It was hard to read. I understand writing for a young adults audience, and enjoy many of those books. But I do not understand writing like a teenager speaks. If your characters use teen vernacular to describe a boy as "hot", that's understandable; the third person narrative should find some real adjectives to use instead.
Profile Image for Chiara | _ckarys.
463 reviews308 followers
September 8, 2022
If like me you’re a fan of the good old classic dystopians like The Hunger Games, then I cannot recommend QUALIFY enough. Reading this book made me so nostalgic, but it was also amazing to immerse myself into a completely different world, with characters that creep under your skin and keep you glued to the pages.

From the very start of the novel, the author did an amazing job at wooing me into the Lark family dynamic, to the point where I was crying within the first 10% of the book. Healthy family bonds are one of my favorite things in books, and the Larks are just precious! I may also have a shameless crush on big brother George, but don’t tell that to Logan or Aeson.

For the majority of the novel, the story takes place in a Qualification Center, which is perfect for fans of academic settings. This is also the place where the majority of the character and world-building happens, and I was very intrigued by the tidbits of Atlantean culture we got to learn alongside our protagonist, Gwen, which also added a touch of mystery (as I’m not wholly sold on the Atlantean’s humanitarian act) that made the read all the more enjoyable!

However, my favorite aspect of the story was the characters themselves. Qualify counts on a large cast of diverse characters with a plethora of different personalities. It’s no surprise this series is optioned for a screen adaptation! I loved the huge emphasis put on friendships and camaraderie, despite the premises of the novel would seem to put these characters one against the other. Gwen was the perfect protagonist to follow. She’s incredibly intelligent, but relatable in her clumsiness and generosity. I was also very engaged with her sentimental dramas. I adore her chemistry with Logan, but I love her scenes with the Atlantean pilot Aeson Kass even more. Those two are serving antagonistic banter, and I cannot wait to see more of their relationship unfolding in the next books, which are all already available!

My one complaint—and this comes down entirely to personal taste—is that I could have done with less descriptions of the lessons themselves. While some served to add insights on Atlantis and on elements that would prove vital to events of the novel, others felt unnecessarily descriptive and drawn out, and they slowed the otherwise incredible pacing of the story.

Thank you to the author for gifting me a copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Debra Lally.
67 reviews2 followers
March 25, 2019
Great Sci-fi Story

This is a page turned and hard to put down. Written from the view of a teenager, the world is on a collision course with disaster. Teenagers must qualify in order to leave Earth and join the Altantisian on their planet. This an enjoyable story.
Profile Image for Emilie.
220 reviews2 followers
April 27, 2019
I so binge read these. So it had hints of Hunger Games, but I feel most survival competition books do. I loved the family connection between the 4 G's. And of course there was a love interest 😂 It was a definite twist with the Alantians and that kept my interest. Now to read the rest! Hurry up and finish the 4th book!
Profile Image for Laura.
351 reviews36 followers
June 30, 2022
4.5 stars

Think Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games. With aliens.

It missed a half star because there was a concerted effort on the part of the author to establish a love triangle. Despite her best efforts, she didn't quite succeed! :)
2 reviews
June 5, 2018

Hands down my favorite series! It's addicting! Extremely recommended to anyone who likes reading! Can't wait until the fourth book comes out!
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