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Qualify Hardcover – December 20, 2014
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Top customer reviews
The main character is Gwen (G2). Events focus on her struggle to qualify, dodge bullies, preserve her three siblings who are also testing, and maybe find love along the way.
I found the story entertaining, but not compelling enough to move on to the other books in the series. I found Gwen to be a real whiner, which was a turn off for me. The story was saved by the interesting supporting cast, and the puzzle solving that occurs as part of the qualification. During those times, Gwen undergoes a personality change, becomes a terrific problem solver, then returns to whiner status sometime later. Maybe that's what life is like inside the head of a teenage girl. I wouldn't know. But it did distract from the story for me.
If that represents reality for you, or is something you can tolerate, you may find the story more enjoyable than I did.
Editing was well done with few if any grammatical or spelling errors. Dialog and plot development were decent and engaging. My biggest turnoff was the whining. Maybe if Gwen grows up in the later books they would be more enjoyable. But with so many books available, I am not willing to invest the time to find out.
I'm a huge fan of stories like these (as mentioned in many other reviews, it's like THG, The Maze Runner, and such). Yes, plenty of these stories have been written, are being written and will be written. Each author has a different take on them and how people would react, and that's why I love them.
By now, I'm sure you know the premise of this book. We follow Gwen in her journey to become Qualified, but we also loosely follow her siblings, friends, love interest and a few Atlanteans. There are a LOT of characters in this story, more than I usually come across. They're introduced through the entire book, right up to the end. This can be confusing and tiresome for some readers, which I understand - I used to not be a fan of a lot of characters but, in long stories like this, it works out well.
Gwen talks to the reader. We get her first hand experience, her thoughts, all of it. That is part of why this book is so long. Gwen doesn't hold much back. She does tend to ramble a bit and I believe she was written that way because she IS human, and we all ramble in our heads and even out loud sometimes.
It's been said in other reviews that Gwen saves the day, she's good at everything, all that. She's not good at everything and that is made clear through this story. She calls herself out, asks for help and accepts help. Yes, she does save the day often but she is no Perfect Protagonist, either.
I did wish we learned more about the Atlanteans in this first book, but there is more to come. The third hasn't been released (as of this date) and I'm currently reading Compete. More is revealed as we go along in the story. The pacing actually does work out well, but you have to be the type of person to settle in for a long ride, because this is not a short, read in a weekend series.
Gwen has a crush on Logan, so there's the usual YA romance thing as well. It's not overly done, although Gwen does get a little goofy now and then. I'm not a fan of Logan, but his character is interesting and does have depth. There's more to him than she sees, I beleive, and I'm looking forward to learning more about him.
As for Qualify itself, there are things that don't add up, as other reviews have stated. The Atlanteans respect for all life vs how the Semi-Finals and Finals go is a huge one. But again, with this being a four book (as of right now) series, there is a ton more to come, and these things usually work themselves out as we go on.
I see a lot of people stopped reading due to the things that don't add up, which of course, is understandable. I've done that too with book series. My suspicions and curiosity with this one is more than enough to keep me interested to find out if the Atlanteans are telling the truth, if Atlantis is what they're making it out to be, if there's more to this asteroid than we've been told, and if Gwen meets her ultimate goal.
I recommend giving this a full shot and going on to Compete, book two. I think it is well worth it. It's a long book and a lot happens in it. If you enjoyed the usual games books, and have read The Testing series, this is definitely one to check out and invest the time into.