Book Reviews, YA book reviews

READ AN EXCERPT of the Claires (A companion novel to the Ascenders Series by C.L. Gaber)


RELEASE DATE:  January 2020


The Claires, the first companion novel to the beloved Ascenders series, is currently in talks to be developed as TV series! In The Claires, Gaber continues tells the origin story of four beautiful and wicked sisters, all who have a clairvoyant ability. It is an enthralling story of magic, mystery, and teenage drama.

Written by celebrity journalist, C.L. Gaber, who has interviewed celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Ryan Gosling, and Emma Stone, The Claires gives readers a close look into the lives of the “Clair” sisters and fan-favorite hearthrob, Cass, from The Ascender series. 



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.


Read an excerpt of The Claires below










The noise rose from the scratched wood floors, bounced off the oatmeal-colored cinderblock walls, and reverberated like an entire marching band gone AWOL inside my head. It was unbearable—like a herd of wild rhinos stomping over every inch of grey matter. Like those beasts were auditioning for “So You Think You Can Dance.” 

The racket of pandemonium was why I always sat in the farthest reaches of that hideous room, the worst in any high school. It was why my head was currently pressed to the coolness of that long, faux-wood table that contained the fingerprints of youth long since passed. It provided a surface for so many cold tater tots, greasy slabs of meatloaf, and raw human emotions that were served up daily. 

A mental institution? No. It was our high school cafeteria. 

Lunchtime at Santa Monica High and time to break bread (although no one ate carbs anymore) with your friends, crushes, enemies, formers (as in loves), and the rest of the peeps that fell somewhere between “adored them” and “wanted them run over by a city bus.” 

For me, the one they called S, the hour-long feeling fest went on (and on) five days a week, over culinary delights served on orange plastic trays as if the shocking color might stun us into some sort of decency. If only it was just the food that caused the pain. Today’s offering was your typical gray slab of tofu pretending to be meat surrounded by steamed kale that had given up its will to exist and all of the above was decorated with slices of brown-green avocado. Welcome to California. I couldn’t eat, and not just because of the dismal menu. 

Things went just a little bit deeper here for yours truly, which was typical for someone like myself who was born with clairsentience, or clear feeling. In case you get the question on Jeopardy someday, and I feel that you might, I have the ability to experience the emotional energy of others in an intuitive way and then absorb it into my own system. 

But, first things first. 

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. 

My panic today concerns that sophomore, Carrie Armstrong, over there who had a knock-down this morning with her stepfather, Steven. I’m deeply tuned into her, which means I’m forced to feel her feelings as if I own them. Thus, it becomes our shared pain, our sadness, and our disappointment. And then it happens. A terrible stab of terror makes goose bumps rise on my arms. She/me have this strange fear that something even worse will happen later when she goes home. That’s just a hunch, but what is dead-on is the feeling of abject dread. What did her stepfather say to her in the driveway? If I think about it hard enough, it comes to me on playback and makes me cry. “You’re a throw-away child,” he told her. “You’re not even my real daughter.” 

Body shaking tears comes to me in overlapping waves of emotions until I turn slightly to my left, gaze at another table and surf the next human mini-drama. The boy over there, he can’t afford college. His mom taunts him: “You were never supposed to amount to anything much, so what does it matter?” I look two tables over. There’s the other girl who tells her parents she was sexually abused by her uncle. Her Dad’s response: “You’re talking nonsense. Making shit up.” The back table. The girl with the pink hair who just buried her mother. Oh, poor baby. Grief begins to overwhelm me. 

I can also sense the overall energy in the room, which today can be summed up as: Quiet desperation, served with brief period of joy and undercooked tater tots. 

If you add the fact that this will be my last spring when it comes to drawing breath followed by my last summer and last fall — not that I’m dwelling on it–but, if you ask me, there’s not enough Kleenex in the world. 


Take the quiz to see if you have any clair ability!


The abilities of the four Claires take shape in the form of Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience and Claircognizance. These abilities allow the gifted to see, hear, know and feel beyond our normal capabilities. Ever feel like you might be just a bit out of the ordinary, like you might have something “extra?” Take this short quiz to find out if you have any “Clair” DNA!

1. Do you ever see flashes in your mind of someone else’s future…but not your own? Do they seem like still photos that appear in your mind, or more like a short “coming attractions” montage?

2. Do you see things out of the corner of your eye that cause you to do a double take, and seem to be clues about the future? When you look again, have these visions vanished?

3. Do you listen to other people’s conversations, and write your own endings in your head?

4. Do you ever have feelings so strong they manifest physically, causing a warm rush throughout your body, and sudden mood swings?

5. Do you have strong physical or emotional reactions (like a revved pulse, plummeting stomach, nervousness, or extreme joy) to being in large crowds?

6. Do you often pick up on the “vibe” of a place before those around you can figure it out?

7. Do you ever feel a sudden, unexplainable pressure in your ears, followed by brief popping or buzzing sounds?

8. Do you talk to animals and imagine what they would say back to you? Do these conversations seem real to you, although you don’t often tell others about them?

9. Do you dream of those who have passed away? Do you look into a crowd, and swear you see someone who should be long gone? Have you ever seen a ghost or spirit?

10. Do answers of all kinds, from quiz questions to life problems, just occur to you in a rush…and are they almost always right?

11. Do you just know odd facts that you can’t remember ever learning? In other words: are you usually (and don’t be shy about this) the smartest one in the room?

12. Do you ever focus hard on a thought or idea, and then watch what you believe manifest before your eyes?


Based on the bestselling Ascenders novels by C.L. Gaber QUIZ QUESTIONS DO YOU HAVE A “CLAIR” ABILITY?

You are CLAIRVOYANT If you answered YES to questions 1, 2 or 3 you might be CLAIRVOYANT—you have clear visions of the future. These are inner images of what will happen. It is often easier to see the future for strangers or acquaintances than for yourself or close family members. +Plus: You predict what is going to happen …and then it happens. -Minus: You still have to live in the now.

You are CLAIRSENTIENT If you answered YES to questions 4, 5 or 6, you might be CLAIRSENTIENT—you are clear feeling. You have major empathy, absorbing the feelings of others and taking them on as your own, almost as if you’re living another life. +Plus: You are a great friend because you understand another’s pain and joy. -Minus: You must also make sure not to let the emotions of others overwhelm you and crowd out your own.

You are CLAIRAUDIENT If you answered YES to questions 7, 8 or 9, you might be CLAIRAUDIENT—you are clear hearing. You can listen to what others cannot—like the voices of animals, or even those from the spirit world who might use you as a door between realms, and pass messages through you. +Plus: You give great advice because you have the wisdom of others coming through you, and you can also be quite comforting to friends who have lost loved ones. -Minus: You deserve as much down time as you need, but it can be hard to take it. You have to remember to say “be gone” or “go away” when you don’t want any others to enter your private thoughts.

You are CLAIRCOGNIZANT If you answered YES to questions 10, 11 or 12, you might be CLAIRCOGNIZANT—you are clear knowing. You are the touchstone of your friends and family because you are the one with the answers. Always right? You might be a “clair” Yoda. +Plus: You’re never out of ideas— great ones just keep appearing in your mind. -Minus: Your gift can put a lot of pressure on you, and you can only stretch yourself so thin.


ABOUT C.L. Gaber

C.L. Gaber is the author of the ASCENDERS Saga and a journalist for the New York Times SyndicateChicago Sun Times, and the Las Vegas Review Journal.

Gaber co-authored the young adult Jex Malone series with V.C. Stanley in 2014.

She is originally from Chicago and now resides in Nevada with her husband, bonus daughter and two dogs.

Connect with C.L. Gaber





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