|“||How is it I got more normal and everything else got weirder?||”|
—Quinn in Light
Quinn Gaither is a character appearing in all the books set in the FAYZ, prior to which he is Sam Temple's only friend. He grows distant to Sam and betrays him early on, but saves his life and is accepted back into the community of Perdido Beach. He later founds the fishermen and works with them until the barrier vanishes. Quinn currently resides in Santa Monica, near Sam and Astrid.
Before the FAYZ, 14-year-old Quinn was Sam's surfing buddy who is shown to be living near the school. Throughout the series, he goes from being a traitor to a fisherman. He is shown to enjoy fishing, and ponders the idea of moving to Maine and being an actual fisherman when and if he gets home. He never develops powers. He is tall for his age, has black hair that he lets hang over his eyes, and jokes a lot. Before the FAYZ he often wore a fedora and sunglasses.
In Gone, Quinn goes along with Sam and Astrid to check Clifftop Hotel and the Nuclear Power Plant for Little Pete. Quinn insists that they check his house first, when he realizes his parents are gone he breaks down into tears, the first character we see to really cry. Quinn confesses to Sam and Astrid that he had a fight with his father the previous night. He then suggests that God might be to blame for the creation of the FAYZ but it does not appear as if he is overly religious throughout the rest of the series. The group later find Edilio trying to dig his way out of the FAYZ. To Quinn's great annoyance, Sam agrees to let him come along. He's among the first to find out about Sam's powers.
Quinn's big break was in The Thanksgiving Battle. He was assigned to shoot any enemy who came to the daycare. He is said to have had a clear shot at Drake, but he couldn't make himself shoot. A little later, when the coyotes come in, Quinn does end up shooting a few, but not nearly enough.
In Hunger, Quinn reveals that he sort of has a crush on Lana, and dances with her at McClub. But he becomes very important in the FAYZ community when he start fishing. His fishing is a hint to the next book, Lies. In the battle, he finds Sam after Drake whips him. He takes Sam back to the mineshaft.
Quinn is now very important to the little community of the FAYZ. His fishing crews, with the help of Albert, eliminate starvation. They also fish the Blue Bats, which they feed to the zekes in exchange for safe passage in to the fields. The coming of Drake/Brittney and the Human Crew's fire don't help in trying to keep Perdido Beach together, but afterwards, Quinn and his crews manage to keep it together.
In Plague, Quinn plays a slightly smaller role. He is still fishing, and he learns about the flu after Pookie coughs up his lungs on the beach where Quinn and his crews want to land, he is told by Dahra Baidoo to turn back around and find shelter for himself and his crew until it is safe. This was also the time when Edilio introduced the quarantine because the plague flu became too progressed in Perdido Beach. Quinn and his crew found sanctuary at a small island at the far coast end of the FAYZ barrier. He and his fishermen built small shelters and it was later on that Brianna got to Quinn to hand him the note from Edilio to announce he bring Caine, because Edilio was sick and knew that they could have a better chance at winning this battle if he were leading them, since Sam was away. His role in the battle is very big, because he is the one to go and get Caine. He is granted the right to go fishing whenever he feels by the self-appointed King Caine.
At the start of Fear, Quinn and his crews are fishing quite normally but Cigar is taken to Caine because he killed Jaden with a studded table leg. He is sentenced to a full day with Penny. By the end of the day, he gouged his own eyes out. This enrages Quinn and his fishing crews, so they go on strike until Caine banishes Penny.
When the barrier goes dark, he is put in charge by Lana. A few of his fishermen try to help Caine, whose hands have been cemented. Caine's dignity is seriously damaged and he breaks most of the bones in his hands. Lana heals them. When Penny, Diana, Gaia and Drake come from the mineshaft, Quinn helps them try to kill Drake and Penny and is responsible for making Caine fight, by telling him that if he doesn't do something quickly then all anyone will remember him for is being held at the mercy of Penny.. They end up killing Penny but Diana, Gaia and Drake go back to the mineshaft and the barrier lightens up. This time, it isn't opaque but clear.
Quinn is sent by Edilio to get Albert from the San Francisco de Sales Island. Albert then tells Quinn to stop fishing, forcing everyone to work. Through Taylor, Quinn is the first person Sam sends for when he is hurt by Gaia on the highway. When the FAYZ wall comes down, Quinn moves to Santa Monica and helps Sam escape from the hospital.
Quinn's "weird guy vibe," and love of surfing are reasons why Quinn and Sam best friends. They always call each other 'dude', 'man', or 'bro'. Sam always preferred keeping a low social profile which naturally "clicked" with Quinn, who was his "own clique." They spent their free time surfing and camping out on the beach.
Quinn and Sam's friendship is stressed during the event's of Gone. Sam notices that Quinn's cool laid back personality had changed when the FAYZ started. Quinn becomes easily panicked, emotionally distraught, and passive aggressive towards others. When faced with a crisis, Quinn's nature begins to amaze Sam with several acts of bravery. Sam's friendship with Edilio further alienates Quinn from his best friend, who may have felt replaced. Quinn becomes unsettled with the idea of Sam being the leader of the FAYZ, and dislikes that Sam appears to be running things and giving orders. After the incident when Orc was beating Bette, Sam looked at Quinn with pity and contempt for Quinn's inaction.
When Sam reveals his powers, Quinn begins to see Sam as a "freak" and their friendship dynamic changes dramatically. Quinn's views about "Freaks" vs. "Normals" foreshadow the future conflicts that will arise within Perdido Beach in later novels. A lot of this angst stems from Quinn's desire for the world to return to normal and have his best friend and old life back. Sam and Quinn's friendship almost come to blows when he is found with some kids from Coates Academy who threw a rock at Little Pete.
Quinn has a very confrontational attitude towards Edilio. Based on Edilio's appearance, Quinn assumes that he is both Mexican and an illegal immigrant (Edilio's family is from Honduras). Edilio, seemingly used to this kind of prejudice, keeps calm in response to Quinn's rudeness. Although he is verbally hostile, his cowardly nature prevents him from picking a fight that could lead to physical violence. Through Quinn's narrative, it is learned that Edilio's "cheerfulness," "competency" and self-sacrificing nature are some reasons why Quinn despises him. Edilio's growing friendship with Sam begins to alienate Quinn from the group.
Later, Quinn tells Lana that he is sorry for calling Edilio names such as "wetback", and starts to respect and like Edilio greatly.
In Hunger, Quinn and Lana have developed feelings for each other, as Lana feels she is able to tell Quinn about the Gaiaphage's control on her. Throughout the book, Quinn is helping her through the rough time. However, in the next book, Lies, Lana reveals that Quinn stopped visiting her after she almost shot him for breaking a glass in her room. Quinn also feels he couldn't be with her because she had a higher status in the FAYZ than he had. However, in Fear it is shown Quinn is jealous of Sanjit, and his family, for living with her, and when Caine was out of power at a time of crisis Lana felt Quinn should be in charge of Perdido Beach. It is hinted that Quinn still has feelings for her, but he never tells her, considering her dating Sanjit.
As Quinn works with his crews throughout Lies and Plague, he comes to form a sort of 'family' with the other fishermen. They spend a lot of the day working together to supply fish to the town, so the reason they become so close.
Orsay describes Quinn's dreams as being lonely and devoid of most color.
"Welcome to Perdido Beach, where our motto is: 'Radiation? What radiation?"
"I had a polynomial once. My doctor removed it."
"We do need a system, and we do need you and your 'Bertos, and sometimes we need Sam to just come along and kick some ass."
"Hawaii, L.P., Hawaii."