Review: The Claires by C.L. Gaber (Ascenders)

The Claires by CL Gaber // VBC Review

The Claires: An Ascenders Novel
C.L. Gaber
Published: Jan. 14, 2020 (Big Picture Media, Inc.)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

In 1911 fraternal girl quadruplets were born. In 1928 they died. Because the powers they carry together is too much to go unchecked, they’ve been cursed to repeat this cycle every seventeen years. They’re each called Claire. Claire V is clairvoyant—clear seeing of the future, Claire S is clairsentient—clear feeling of other’s emotions, Clair A is clairaudient—clear hearing including tapping into the spirit realm, and Clair C is Claircognizant—clear all knowing.

As they near the end of their sixteenth year in 2013, the Claires are determined that this time will be the time they beat the clock. The time that they get to live. But as the pieces, again, start to fall into place, can they truly outrun their destinies?

The Claires is a spin-off book from C.L. Garber’s Ascenders series. I’ll admit I haven’t read the Ascenders, but I didn’t have any issue following along in The Claires story. I’m really interested in the idea of fate. It’s something that we see so much in fantasy. Fated pairs, destiny, chosen ones. Any time someone wants to mess with that trope, I’m all for it.

But I think I was also hindered by the fact that I hadn’t read the predecessor series as I’m given to understand that The Claires make appearances. I think that I may have missed little nuances of their characters. Because, unfortunately, I didn’t really like them very much.

They are a very singular group. Having gone through so many lives, they’ve come to understand that they can rely on no one but each other. While they don’t often actively push outsiders away, they also aren’t welcoming. They reminded me of the sisters and the crows in Shelly Laurenston’s Call of Crows and Honey Badger Chronicles except with less redeemable qualities. This is especially true of the relationship with their “brother” Cass. I use quotations because, as we’re repeatedly told, he’s not really their blood brother since the mother they are born from is only a vessel. Which is supposed to mean that it’s okay for Claire V to harbor amorous feelings for Cass—let me shout it here that it’s NOT and never will be okay—even after she’s dissuaded from her feelings she never acknowledges that it was just plain wrong. I guess we’re lucky that it’s only one-sided.

Getting past that (although it’s difficult), I’d say what intrigued me the most was their history. Where they originally came from and the idea of a mysterious entity known as the Order that keeps watch on the Claires. It’s ultimately the Order the decided their powers were too dangerous and cursed them to die every seventeen years from birth. It’s here that I can’t tell if I’m at a loss for not having read the predecessor series or if we can expect a confrontation and more reveals in future books. I can say that there definitely needs to be a confrontation and the door is left open for future books, I mean reincarnation, yeah.

I’d say minus the whole inappropriate sibling love first and getting over the oft unfriendly main characters second, the story as a whole has a lot of interesting qualities and potential to go places, and I’m intrigued enough to want to pick up Ascenders

 Sexual Content: icky somewhat-sibling lust, kissing, references to sex

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