The Taken (Celestial Blues, #1)
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The Taken (Celestial Blues #1)

3.44 of 5 stars 3.44  ·  rating details  ·  1,616 ratings  ·  343 reviews
Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets . . . and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he's been dumped back onto the mortal mudflat to collect another soul—Katherine "Kit" Craig, a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get he...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published June 4th 2012)
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It wasn’t love at first sight. No, it was more like casual curiosity in a sea of strangers where one stood out a little more than all the rest, wearing a tailored suit and an upturned do whereas the other women wore red dresses and spiked heels. But I was intrigued enough to continue the flirtatious glances, and she was inviting enough to offer up those baby blues and batted eyelashes and slight smiles when I least expected them, and before either of us realized it, the glances led to a conversa...more
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
There are books and characters I've thoroughly enjoyed that over time have blended in with others in their genre, no longer standing out in my mind. Then there are books and characters that leave such an impression that they serve as a reminder of why I initially fell in love with reading. This is one of those stories.

Pettersson has a truly impressive writing style with descriptions that are clever and incredibly vivid. She also possesses a talent for world building, providing enough detail so...more
Even though I'm not especially fond of angels, I decided to try out this new series based on my previous experiences with Vicki Pettersson's work. Sadly, after an intriguing first chapter, any enjoyment I may have expected never came knocking (guess it was too busy knockin' on heaven's door).

Meet one of the two main characters, rockabilly girl Katherine "Kit" Craig. She's an eternally optimistic and peppy reporter whose best friend and co-worker, Nicole, was just murdered while following a lead....more
I have never been so happy to be done with a book. Possibly ever. This was a great idea so poorly executed it made me want to cry. I just kept reading about how amazing this book was. There were recommendations from authors I love singing about how this is the best book they have read in a millennium. It would have no be at least decent right? Wrong.

400 pages of “I am so rockabilly no one understands me. This is a lifestyle not just me playing dress up. I should be working on the murder mystery...more
3.5 stars - The Taken, the Celestial Blues series starter, was a mixed read for me. The first chapter was a 'grabber', but I found the next few chapters to be uneven and I kept wavering as to whether I even had the patience to continue on, because I liked the parts with leading man Grif Shaw - a 'busted' (not fallen) angel and former 50's PI - but I had a hard time connecting with leading lady Kit Craig - a newspaper reporter who embraces the 50's nostalgia driven Rockabilly lifestyle and has an...more
Benjamin Cheah
I wanted to like this book, but I just couldn't. The story drew me in with its first chapter and its promise of an intriguing world and dark plotline, but these were overshadowed by all the other flaws in the story.

Consider the protagonists. They are pretty bland and stereotypical. Kit Craig, the female lead, gets a few points for originality for being a rockabilly girl, but her rockabilly persona doesn't fit in with the rest of her character. It's almost as though that part of her exists simply...more
Sherry (bogiewine)
First I have to start by saying that I should not have liked this book. While it offers an intriguing, very original mash-up ~ urban fantasy with a rockabilly noir mystery ~ … it's also an angel book. I detest angel books, for the simple reason that you can’t have them without at least some religious overtones. Even when the angels are darkly sexy, broodingly tortured former P.I.’s. And Pettersson doesn’t hold back on stuffing The Taken with heavenly mythology and bonk-you-over-the-head piety. I...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Think a more violent and sexual His Girl Friday.

Griffin Shaw is an angel, of sorts, who ferries the recently departed to their next stop. Originally he was a `50s Vegas PI, but since he can't get past the murder of himself and his wife he is stuck on angelic escort detail. Then in a moment of compassion he breaks the rules and is punished by becoming flesh and blood again. He's also forced into the company of one Kit Craig, a rockabilly reporter who is marked for death because of Grif's lapse. S...more
Lolly's Library
A cute, mostly forgettable PNR. While the story at the book's heart, the one actually driving the plot, is as dark and twisted as they come, the rest of the book is fairly prosaic. There's the spunky heroine, Katherine "Kit" Craig, this time dressed up as an "I defy you to pigeonhole me" rockabilly Lois Lane, which, I'll grant you, is an interesting twist--I haven't seen too many rockabilly dolls in modern fiction. Then there's the deep and brooding hero, Griffin Shaw, with the requisite dark pa...more
"You know. People treasure the moments in their lives because they know those times will soon be gone. A normal person like that girl over there focuses on the present because even if she doesn't acknowledge it, death still looms in her future."

The Taken begins with a murder and leads us on an investigation that kept me intrigued and guessing until the very end. Originally I thought I was going to be reading a new paranormal romance series but upon completing this book, I'm going to place it in...more
Mar 30, 2013 Katy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy, Paranormal romance
Recommended to Katy by: Amazon Vine
I read this in September 2012 but hadn't posted the review here, so here you go.

Book Info: Genre: Urban Fantasy Noir/Mystery Thriller Reading Level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free paperback galley (uncorrected proof) from the Amazon Vine program in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when gumshoes hoofed the streets... and he was still alive. Fifty years later, he's an angel, but that doesn't make him a saint. One small mistake has altered...more
3.5 stars

Initially, The Taken didn't fully grab my attention because I had a hard time grasping the rockabilly influences of Katherine "Kit" Craig and the story took it's time sketching out details surrounding the characters. I just couldn't see any fascination in rockabilly lifestyle, and in all honesty I didn't realize that people followed this type of living, in past. The story took it's time pulling together the characters' hows, whys and how comes, which made it for slow read for the first...more
Michelle Leah Olson
Our Review by Michelle L. Olson - LITERAL ADDICTION'S Pack Alpha:

I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher in preparation for an Event that LITERAL ADDICTION was doing with Vicki in mid-June 2012. I'm a fan of Ms. Pettersson's, and seeing that this was the first in a new series I was seriously intrigued. Not to mention that the blurb was original and that peaked my interests even more.

In preparation of the read I did a little research and saw that the pre-release reader reviews were qui...more
The Taken combined angel mythology with noir-style mystery and the retro rockabilly subculture to create a unique story. I am hooked on this new world and definitely interested to learn more about the characters, especially Grif.

Griffin Shaw is a "busted" angel who finds himself trying to protect Girl Friday and rockabilly enthusiast, Katherine "Kit" Craig from some very influential people. These men don't want their prostitution ring investigated and they will kill Kit to stop her. Grif helps K...more
Eh. I debated long and hard between 2-stars and 3-stars. Personally, it was more 2-star for me but I think that's a bit of an unfair rating, especially looking back at other books I gave 2 stars to. It's not a bad book, but I just could NOT get into it. I mean it took me a week to read it because I just didn't want to. Ultimately, I'm giving it 3 stars because I just think it's my personal bias rather than a case of a horrible book.

I didn't like the rockabilly theme or the conveniently 1950's PI...more
"The Taken" has the dubious distinction of being in a select group of books which I could not bring myself to finish, no matter how hard I might try. When stuck alone with this book and none other in my bag on mass transit, I actively resented its presence. On lunch breaks, I tried my level best to finish it, but ended up surrendering about two-thirds of the way in and just peeking to see if the ending was as stupid as I imagined it would be (spoiler: it was).

It's almost a talent to make a book...more
Finally read The Taken, Vicki Pettersson's first book in the Celestial Blues series. And it was quite different than I expected. It was an intriguing read with a good mystery built up and awesome characters, I guess I just thought there would be a little more paranormal involved. Though, we do get that with Griffin Shaw, since he's sort of an angel and all!

Griffin Shaw was murdered 50 years ago. He's now a Centurion and basically helps souls cross over. There's a more intricate process than simp...more
Okay, how perfect is this book cover for this blog? You know I had to read it. Okay, now that you know I love the cover, now what about the book?

I have to admit that the beginning of this book was a bit uneven. It had it's moments, but did meander quite a bit toward the middle. Also, although I did enjoy both the main characters, I have to admit that it did bug me that their was SO much about her being a "billie" (person who loves rockabilly). I understood why some characters couldn't get over i...more
I've been a fan of Vicki Pettersson for years now because of her epic series, The Signs of the Zodiac. When the series ended I was completely satisfied with how she wrapped it all up, but I was sad because I didn't know when we would see something new from her. She gave hints as early as she could, and slowly revealed the deets on her next series. I was very interested, but after the cover was released I was giddy with anticipation. Rockabilly? Noir? Hard-boiled P.I.? Angels?

A summer of teen dr...more
Vicki Pettersson is one of my favorite authors and she has not let me down in The Taken, her first book in her new Celestial Blues series. Once again Vegas is the setting but The Taken is a much different book than her Zodiac series. What is not different is Vicki's excellent and evocative writing and the dramatic tension she brings to her stories. This book feels like a noir-ish mystery but has the added delight of rockabilly and angelic lore. But the angels are not all sweetness and light and...more
All Things Urban Fantasy
An angelic Sam Spade with a softer side and a fast talking reporter who sees the good in everyone, the two main characters of THE TAKEN are two of my favorite tropes brought to glorious new life on the Vegas strip. Pettersson’s rich writing style brings the witty banter and glamorous fashion of noir mystery into modern day technicolor, and I could not be more fascinated by her intriguing new world.

THE TAKEN asks you to buy into two main conceits: the Rockabilly lifestyle that defines Kit Craig a...more
Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac series is one of my all time favorite series. I love almost everything about that series and have re-read it over and over again. When I read that she was starting a new series I was really excited. I expected an amazing first book with characters I connected with and cared about and all of the amazingly beautiful writing that Pettersson gave me in the Zodiac series. What I got was the amazingly vivid, beautiful writing and characters that I never could get into.

In 417...more
Carmel (Rabid Reads)
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

Much like the cover, this book is an interesting mix of new and old. I think the black & white artwork with a splash of colour does a good job of summing up this story in a nutshell. Griffin's fifty years dead and Kit is all about the rockabilly (50's lifestyle). In that respect, they compliment each other well. The main plot revolves around a murder investigation which I really enjoyed because it kept me guessing but in the end, I just couldn't get past the 3rd perso...more
Kristin  (MyBookishWays Reviews)
You may also read my review here:

A seedy Las Vegas motel room. A dead hooker (or is she?) A lesser angel (and former PI) named Grif here for another Take. A nosy girl reporter out for vengeance. Sounds good so far, right? Oh, it totally is. When Griffin Shaw comes to collect this Take, he has no idea that it will set him on a course that will force him to examine his former life, and unlife. After a small act of kindness angers his bosses, he’s forced bac...more
Really, what was I thinking when I bought this book? While I liked Vicki Pettersson's writing style, her previous series got convoluted and ridiculous. This book is competently written, but I didn't care for any of the characters. The mystery didn't interest me and the author's fictionalized version of heaven (Everlast) and the angel hierarchy just annoyed me.

Griffin Shaw is a Centurion, which means it is his job to find the newly dead and escort them to the Everlast. However when he botches a...more
Highly Stylized Noir Homage
A Centurion's gig should be simple. Someone dies a sudden and violent death, he shows up to escort the terminally confused into the Everlast. That's how it's supposed to go, anyway. Doesn't mean it always goes that way.

It's not that former PI and current angel Griffin Shaw doesn't sympathize with the hooker who got her throat sliced by her last john. She's dead. It sucks. He knows, because fifty years ago he was murdered, too. He deals with it. Mostly.

So okay, he's not...more
*slight spoilers ahead*

I have to say straight away that Celestial Blues is a very different series from what Miss Pettersson wrote previously, as in it's not an urban fantasy. I was expecting one and to my (pleasant) surprise discovered that The Taken was a sort of a murder mystery with slight paranormal elements and distinct noir-ish undertones.

To give it a better definition I would describe it as a love child of Carole Nelson Douglas and Chris F. Holm.

Kit Craig is a intrepid small scale journ...more
"Do you want to know what the difference is between sex for money and sex for free, Mr. Shaw?" Chambers' voice twisted across the room to snag Grif one last time. He waited until Grif had turned to finish. "Sex for money always costs less."

Flummoxed by the death of her best friend and newspaper photographer, Katerine "Kit" Craig embarks on a journey of discovery to answer the questions: Who killed Nicole and why?

Katherine is an investigative reporter at her family's newspaper. Kit and Nic were...more
This is an intense book and the story is a bit of a roller coaster ride. I did not have any sense of where it was going and because of that I think that the curves and sudden drop-offs were a bit uneven but still incredibly impactful. My initial introduction to Grif and his current state lulled me into thinking that his presence and conflict would be riddled with bureaucratic positioning and struggle. Not really the case. Then I worried that his "true love" would haunt his soul (too many Harlequ...more
This mash-up of urban fantasy, romance with a noir(-ish)/hipster twist surprised me at how entertaining and fast-paced it was. I had a great time reading it in one sitting and it brightened my rainy Saturday quite a bit! As the first novel in the series, a lot of time was spent setting up the supernatural, angelic elements, and though a bit more exposition would have been nice, this was a pretty solid foundation - with plenty of room for the sequel to expand that base. The nostalgic Kit, the fem...more
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Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Signs of the Zodiac novels, a completed six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. She's now writing Celestial Blues, a supernatural noir trilogy that began with THE TAKEN (2012) and has been followed by THE LOST (2013). She divides her time between Las Vegas and Dallas.
More about Vicki Pettersson...
The Scent of Shadows (Signs of the Zodiac #1) The Taste of Night (Signs of the Zodiac #2) The Touch of Twilight (Signs of the Zodiac #3) City of Souls (Signs of the Zodiac #4) Cheat the Grave (Signs of the Zodiac #5)

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“So. You're a fallen angel." She folded her arms.
"I'm not fallen," he said roughly.
"Then what are you?"
He shrugged. "Busted.”
“ 'Everything has its place. Let in only those things that are greatly desired, no more and no less. That's how to make sense of the world, and the only real way to achieve happiness.' ” 5 likes
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