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The Claires – 4 Star Book Review

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Welcome to one of the December 4th review stops on the blog tour for The Claires by C. L. Gaber, organized by YA Bound Book Tours. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for promos, guest posts by the author, other reviews, and a giveaway! (More on that at the end of this post.)

Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

About the Book

The Claires
An Ascenders Novel
by C. L. Gaber

Published 14 January 2020
by Big Picture Media Inc.

Genre: YA Fantasy Romance
Page Count: 321
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!

Four beautiful girls. Quadruplets. They are not identical.
But each is named Claire.
Claire V is Clairvoyant—clear seeing with visions of the future.
Claire S is Clairsentient—clear feeling as she embraces another’s pain.
Claire A is Clairaudient—clear hearing to tap into the spirit world.
Claire C is Claircognizant—clear knowing with 100% accuracy.

Born in 1911, they first died together in 1928 at age seventeen. Two months later, they were reborn. And reborn. THE CLAIRES only live to seventeen and then they’re violently murdered. Somewhere in the world, a woman finds out she’s pregnant with quads. The Claires return to a new family as they try to break a curse that guarantees they die young.

It’s current-day Los Angeles, and once again, their seventeenth birthday is looming. Can they save themselves, clean up the streets in the name of penance, and crash their own prom?

The Claires is the first novel spin-off of the best-selling Ascenders Book Saga.

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Excerpt

Claire S, nice to meet you. Genetically, I inherited yellow daffodil hair and sapphire eyes from a mystery source. I did manage to snag my original parental unit Lula’s long, lean frame, hatred of green beans, and the ability to feel the present, past, or future emotional states of others. It’s an awful, awful gift, thank you for that, mother dear.

This is what you will never read on my permanent record in this realm: As previously discussed, I can sense other people’s feelings while experiencing another’s deepest emotions as if they are my own. If you want to get fancy about it, it’s called psychic sensing. I can feel things about people and places, all the while draining myself of every ounce of my own personal energy while I tune in to the other being.

 Clairsentients feel things—every little freaking second—so strongly and profoundly that we’re just-ran-the-marathon mentally exhausted after wandering into a large group of people with all their emotions popping.

 Imagine taking on everyone else’s bad day, sad day, or day of joyous euphoria. It’s enough to make you long for your pillow and a week-long nap. For instance, right now, I’m crying actual tears and nothing remarkable happened to me this morning beyond fighting with my brother over the last of the breakfast cereal.

 Each day, I eat lunch alone or with my sisters if they can manage to ditch their classes and find me. Most days, one of them finds me in mid-panic attack from what I’m absorbing. My hands sweat; my heart races. It’s not easy to make a cold compress out of soggy cafeteria napkins, but I do it.

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My Review

My Rating: 4 Stars
Consider “liking” my review on Goodreads.

I was granted complimentary access to a copy of The Claires by the author through YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in the blog tour for this title. Thank you to both C. L. Gaber and YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity! This has not swayed my opinion. My thoughts are my own and my review is honest.

The Claires is a fascinating YA novel about a set of non-identical quadruplets, all named Claire, who are brutally murdered on the 17th birthday and then reborn, rinse and repeat forever. This time they’re determined to figure out why and survive.

Knowing I had already accepted more reviews than I should have for my December scheduled I wasn’t sure if I wanted to sign up for this one, but the premise was so fascinating I just had to! I’m glad I did. This is a very enjoyable read, and so unique! I was also hesitant because this is a companion novel to a longer series (Ascenders) that I haven’t read, but fear not, it stands well on its own and can be read separately without feeling lost.

The book is told from the point of view of the sisters plus Cass, one at a time in rotation, and the girls are distinguished by their middle initials. They’re each their own person, and Gaber has done a fantastic job of giving them each a unique voice. This book is absolutely a villain’s story (well, villains’ stories), and I love it! Be warned, however, that means it’s morally grey at the high points, and incredibly dark when the plot thickens. It’s also an origin story for these villains of the larger series and lets us in on why they were cursed to this morbid sisyphean existence.

Normally I don’t comment on editing in these tours reviews because it’s unclear whether or not the copy I received was the unedited manuscript or a more polished proof, but I’ve seen some reviews from recipients and purchasers of final print copies of the book with similar complaints, so I’ll comment. Tense is inconsistent throughout the book, and not in a way that feel intentional. Factual errors are made, such as attributing The Grapes of Wrath to Fitzgerald.

I was also quite uncomfortable reading the relatioship between Claire V and her (not technically related) brother Cass, who she’d like to get to know in an adult fun-time way, if you catch my drift. Was that needed? Really?

Overall, if you ignore that last complaint, it’s an amazing book and so satisfyingly fast-paced. I would recommend it to mature fans of dark fantasy, YA or otherwise, as long as sibling “desire” wouldn’t be a problem for them. Honestly without that and with another editing pass, it might have been a 5. I’m absolutely interested in digging up the series and reading those books, now!

About the Author

I’m C.L. Gaber, an author and film journalist for the New York Times Syndicate and Chicago Sun Times. I also co-authored Jex Malone series. Originally from Chicago, I make my home in Nevada with my husband, bonus daughter and two unruly dogs.

My husband knows that Ascenders began with me in bathroom half the night writing on tiny notepads because I didn’t want to wake him. When daylight did roll around, I told him, ”Baby, I had the most incredible dream”.

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Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which means there is no additional cost to you if you shop using my links, but I will earn a small percentage in commission. A program-specific disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.

Jenna is the artist/illustrator and author behind Westveil Publishing and its sub-banner platforms Jenna Gets Creative and The Westveil Archives. She live in Newfoundland, Canada with her husband, daughter, and feline overlords.

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