The Taken (Celestial Blues Series #1)

( 311 )

Overview

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 her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, ...

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The Taken (Celestial Blues Series #1)

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Overview

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 her clipped.

Bucking heavenly orders, Grif refuses to let the sable-haired siren come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder—and dole out some overdue payback for the death of his beloved wife, Evie.

Joining forces, Kit and Grif's search for answers leads beyond the blinding lights of the Strip into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. But a ruthless killer determined to destroy them isn't Grif's biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, along with the answer to the haunting question of his long afterlife . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
“A sure bet for urban-fantasy readers of all types, but especially fans of Carrie Vaughn, Jim Butcher, and P. N. Elrod.”
Suspense Magazine
"Intriguing mix of paranormal, romance and mystery with just enough suspense!"
Kim Harrison
“Exceptional. Mystery, crime scene drama, and more than enough romance to keep the heart pumping blend seemlessly into an enthralling read that kept me glued to the pages. I can’t wait for the sequel.”
Sophie Littlefield
“A stylish, atmospheric mash-up of rockabilly and angelic affairs quickly reveals itself to be so much more: THE TAKEN proves that Pettersson is not afraid to explore the darkest corners of the human heart – and that her gift for redemption is unsurpassed.”
Kelley Armstrong
“A delectably dark paranormal thriller. I’ve always been a fan of Pettersson’s work, but she knocks it out of the park with this one.”
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“Pettersson’s amazing new series is off to a rocking start with this compelling read.”
Kim Harrison on The Scent of Shadows
“The Scent of Shadows is a bold concept, skillfully developed. The ugly grit and intoxicating glitter of Vicki Pettersson’s world of Las Vegas is the perfect mirror for her character, Joanna Archer, whose hard past flows into her unimaginably chancy future.”
Diana Gabaldon on The Scent of Shadows
“From the one-damn-thing-after-another school of unputdownable books, The Scent of Shadows rockets into the air and explodes like fireworks, with nonstop bursts of action and imagination.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub
“Combining comic-book adventures, astrology and a war between light and shadow, Pettersson’s stunning debut is an attention grabber. Original, with a tough and tormented heroine, it delivers a complex new mythology as well as emotional drama and action galore.”
Romantic Times BOOKclub on The Scent of Shadows
“Combining comic-book adventures, astrology and a war between light and shadow, Pettersson’s stunning debut is an attention grabber. Original, with a tough and tormented heroine, it delivers a complex new mythology as well as emotional drama and action galore.”
Suspense magazine
“Intriguing mix of paranormal, romance and mystery with just enough suspense!”
(top pick) - RT Book Reviews
"Pettersson’s amazing new series is off to a rocking start with this compelling read."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062064646
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Series: Celestial Blues Series , #1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 810,041
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Vicki Pettersson

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

Biography

Las Vegas native Vicki Pettersson always loved to write, but a post-college stint in public relations convinced her that "working on assignment" was not the career for her; so she did what any self-respecting Vegas girl would do: she became a showgirl by night... and a closet novelist by day. A decade later she also became an instant bestseller with the back-to-back releases in her dark urban fantasy series, The Scent of Shadows and The Taste of Night. She'll appear in November's Holidays Are Hell anthology, and The Touch of Twilight: The Third Sign of the Zodiac will follow in June 2008.

Author biography courtesy of Eon.

Good To Know

Some fun and fascinating excerpts from our interview with Pettersson:

"I used to be a Las Vegas showgirl. In fact, dancing in the Folies Bergere at night was what enabled me to write during the day. It gave me the time and space to learn and grow, and at the end of the day I could pack away the laptop and go hang with my friends in the lights and sequins and feathers. It was a great way to spend my 20s, and the perfect compliment to the sedentary writer's lifestyle. So that's my real advice to aspiring authors: expose yourself nightly to thousands of strangers! It worked for me!"

"I was born and raised in Las Vegas, which I've found is even more interesting to people than my having been a showgirl. (No, I did not live in a hotel growing up!) It was a drastically different scene back then, and rather boring because there wasn't a whole lot for kids to do. Before the Mirage was built in 1989 it was pretty much a small town with a big, bright bulge in the middle, like a snake that'd swallowed a light bulb. Like other locals, I can still reach down past the glitter and the fast pace, and trace the remnants of that small town like the lines on my palm. It's still there, if you know where to look."

"Being a mother has made me a better writer. My baby has made me faster and bolder and smarter, and taught me I can do things I might never have attempted before. An odd fact of motherhood is that you'll do things for your child that you'd never do -- or ask for -- for yourself. Isn't that strange? So I was determined from the get-go that I wasn't going to blame my child for my own professional failures. Whatever I do or don't accomplish lies squarely on my shoulders. So there are sacrifices I have to make right now -- getting up at 4:30 in the morning is one of them -- but that's nothing compared to the rewards, and I know this time is fleeting. So I'm careful not to squander it. Being a mother is a wonderful asset!"

"I've recently begun getting into Mid-Mod Century culture and design. I've suddenly become conscious of all the small affinities I have for the '50s and '60s: I love Hepburn-esque dresses, cocktail culture, and I've always romanticized the Rat Pack days (I used to say that I was a showgirl 20 years past my time). I'd really like to buy one of the older Mid-Mod homes, with their sharp angles and clean lines and cinderblock patterns and butterfly roofs, but the areas these homes are in (in Las Vegas) need to be revitalized a bit before I jump on board with that."

"I used to daydream that Elvis was really my father. (Yes, such are the dreams of a child raised in Vegas!) But he was performing in town around the time I was born and my mother was totally cute -- and I can do the lip thing, 'Thank you very much' -- so I thought it entirely feasible!"

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 311 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(96)

4 Star

(86)

3 Star

(62)

2 Star

(31)

1 Star

(36)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 311 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 12, 2012

    I'M A SUCKER FOR A SEXY GUMSHOE I received an ARC of this book

    I'M A SUCKER FOR A SEXY GUMSHOE

    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 quite low rated. While I didn't let that impact my decision to start the book or my thoughts, it was always in the back of my mind. After finishing, I have to say that I'm very shocked at the low reviews. I REALLY enjoyed it!

    It was a heart pumping mystery with intense action, old fashioned romance, and just enough of the preternatural to keep it in my 'usually preferred' genre, and while it's a long book, I read it in 3 sittings.

    I adore Grif. Maybe because I've always been an absolute sucker for the dicks & gumshoes of the past - the Humphrey Bogarts and Dick Tracys of the world. Those smart, sexy, intense, standoffish, sleuthy men who could solve a crime by finding a book of matches. Those that while maybe not classically handsome could still make your heart swoon with just their smarts, a cock-eyed fedora and a trenchcoat. *sigh* Grif is all that and a bag of chips! LOL. He's uber sexy, tortured, haunted, smart (and smart-a**), plus... he's an angel (literally).

    Kit is an amazing heroine as well. She takes on the world with a smile, all the while staying true to herself despite what others think. She's also strong, smart, and compassionate and an incredible investigative journalist (a profession I thoroughly enjoy in my fiction).

    Together, these two are the ultimate pair, yet their relationship is tragically flawed and utterly doomed from the start. It made you cheer them on and wish for the best even more, and made my heart swell anytime anything did go their way breaking through Grif's ice and bringing one of those wide smiles to Kit's face.

    I loved the book and I'm really looking forward to the sequel!

    I have to say that while I enjoyed the action, mystery and romance, my favorite part of the book was the underlying message - that life is meant to be lived, enjoyed one day at a time to its fullest, and that death shouldn't be feared, because dying means you were once truly alive.

    LITERAL ADDICTION gives The Taken 4 1/2 Skulls and would recommend it to all Urban Fantasy and Mystery lovers, especially those with a penchant for vintage PI and Detective work.

    61 out of 70 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This book had so many intriguing elements to it that they all me

    This book had so many intriguing elements to it that they all melt together to create a fantastic story that simply cannot be defined.
    It's a mystery with a slight paranormal aspect to it with some romance woven in. The characters are interesting and alive- even the secondary characters grab your attention and make you care about them.
    I'll do by best to summarize briefly without spoilers.
    Griffin Shaw is a kind of angel tasked with helping humans to the other side who've died tragically. He meets rockabilly reporter Kit Craig when her best friend is murdered. They end up working together to try to solve not only her best friend's murder, but that of his wife and himself, the latter occurring some 50 years earlier.
    There is action, mystery, humor, drama, and just the right amount of romance. Definitely for adults only, as the bad guys in this do VERY bad deeds. But men and women alike will enjoy this author, book, series. DO NOT MISS THIS GEM!

    28 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I loved this book. very well written. Finished it very quickly

    I loved this book. very well written. Finished it very quickly

    23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good start to a series. I was impressed with this book and will

    Good start to a series. I was impressed with this book and will be watching for the next in the series. The private investigator angel trying to do his job by collecting a journalists soul. I am curious where the series will go. I like the private investigator/mystery feel to the book. There was some good ground work for developing characters that will bring me back to the series.

    22 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Fantastic Whodunit Debut! Vicki Pettersson has once again cre

    A Fantastic Whodunit Debut!

    Vicki Pettersson has once again created a unique addition to the urban fantasy genre. All her books are so original and darkly complex. I loved her Sign of the Zodiac series and I can tell that I will love this new series just as much.

    I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I generally don't gravitate towards the life after death or ghost type books. However, this is no ordinary ghost chaser novel. The action was plentiful and the story, fresh and exciting . The characters had great chemistry and were each very likeable. A lot of the plot was predictable, but no less engaging and intense.

    I highly recommend this book to fellow dark urban fantasy readers and eagerly await the next book in the series, The Lost due out 3/19/2013.

    20 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2012

    50s noir in modern times Rockabilly lifestyle, angelic hosts, an

    50s noir in modern times
    Rockabilly lifestyle, angelic hosts, and a murder mystery combine to create interesting characters and complex plots in a manner we've come to expect from author Vicki Pettersson. To fans of her Zodiac series, do not expect more of the same. While the world she crafts in Celestial Blues is every bit as intricate and novel as in the Zodiac series, the fantastical elements are much more subdued in The Taken. Subdued, however, does not mean nonexistent and the elements of paranormal add to the overall flavor of the book without wholly overwhelming it as so often happens in Urban Fantasy.

    17 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Great story!!!!

    I really enjoyed this novel. It kept me interested until the very end. My only concern is the lack of details for this world she has built and the rockabilly life style. I would have loved to learn more about the angels.

    17 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 9, 2012

    Vicki Pettersson is a master at creating lush worlds with multi-

    Vicki Pettersson is a master at creating lush worlds with multi-dimensional characters. The Taken is no exception. I can only compare it to a roller coaster ride. She carefully builds suspense like the slow ascent and plunges you into danger right along with the heroine. I loved the emotional tango Kit and Grif performed. Just enough romance and just enough turmoil, neither one over the top. The villains are disgustingly vile and convincing. Her take on the angel mythos is something new and while pertinent to the story, doesn't detract from the gritty noir style. I can't wait to continue this series!

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Thank you!

    I would like to say Thank You to B n N for offering a Ff book ea wk. It's FREE people. Dont put one star then complain about B n N choice of book, or having bought a NOOK! Kindle is nothing special. There r over a million FREE BOOKS if u just go to SHOP n type in 0.00. U can also type in free sci fi, or any other genre u like. So Amazon is no better. So very sick of this weekly bashing of B n N. I m looking forward to reading this book, a new genre for me. Try that, why don't u instead of whining every week. Vallie

    12 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Folks - do NOT give a one-star review if it is NOT about the boo

    Folks - do NOT give a one-star review if it is NOT about the book.  It affects the overall rating of THE BOOK ITSELF, not how BN is handling the free friday nook book" program.  

    12 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    Scent of Shadows was one of my favorite series and this book is

    Scent of Shadows was one of my favorite series and this book is even better. Couldn't put it down, I am looking forward to the continuation.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    This was a fun, atmospheric urban fantasy with a fresh take on t

    This was a fun, atmospheric urban fantasy with a fresh take on the gritty paranormal--I'm sick of vampires and werewolves, and Pettersson goes in a different direction. Her books are all set in Vegas and it's clear she knows the town from the vivid picture she paints.

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Gragnor!!

    WILL YOU PEOPLE STOP POSTING REVIEWS LIKE YOU'RE TEXTING YOUR BOYFRIEND!!! IT PISSES EVERYONE OFF!!

    10 out of 44 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    To: BN

    Stop your complaining! Its a free book. You are complaining about a free book. Good grief. If u want free books just type in free books and there are tons of them. So make a review about the book, not the free friday buisness.

    9 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    Good beach read

    Good beach read

    9 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    There is a lot to enjoy in The Taken. The two main characters,


    There is a lot to enjoy in The Taken. The two main characters, Griffin 'Grif" Shaw and Katherine 'Kit' Craig, are wonderful. I love Kit. She's an interesting mix of incurable optimist and pit bull. She tries to live life beautifully, adopting a Rockabilly aesthetic, while at the same time relentlessly pursuing stories as a journalist. She will not stop until she gets the truth. Griffin Shaw, Grif, is the real noir deal. An authentic P.I. from the 50s who was violently killed and has a chance to find out what happened 50 years ago. He is the epitome of tall, dark, and silent with a little grumpy thrown in. He definitely sees things differently than Kit. The dance of their relationship is one of the highlights of The Taken.


    What draws Kit and Grif together are 2 murder mysteries set 50 years apart - what happened to Grif and his wife and what is happening now. While working on solving the mysteries we see what makes both Kit and Grif tick. Ms. Pettersson does a terrific job of giving us information about both of them over the course of the novel to show how they became who they are now. Because of the difference in eras in which the murders were committed we get to see into Las Vegas of 50 years ago and Las Vegas now. I like how Rockabilly ties Grif's era with Kit, who embraces the Rockabilly lifestyle in the present day.


    Another highlight of The Taken is the angelology. Ms. Pettersson's take on angels, the heavens, and what happens after death iss outstanding. This also is nicely doled out over the course of the novel.


    My only quibble with The Taken is the slow going in the beginning. The Taken picks up steam, however, and is well worth the read. I must also point out that Ms. Pettersson slings descriptive phrases with the best of them. I can't tell you how many times I noted a phrase from the novel that delighted me.


    Bottom Line: Ms. Pettersson combines the celestial, the underbelly of Las Vegas, Rockabilly, noir, and mystery, mixes in some wonderful characters, and delivers a great read. The Celestial Blues series is on my must buy list.


    I give The Taken 4 1/2 Qwills. Review Copy: ARC from Publisher.

    8 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    To hello please read

    I would not have liked this when I was 14. And I would not want my 14 year old reading it, if I had one, but I am rather old fashioned. Hope this helps you.

    6 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2013

    Great read

    Even if urban fantasy isnt your usual genre give this one a try. And DONT penalize the author and book with a one star non review just out of frustration for factors that dont pertain to the book!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    Won't download

    How can i solve the problem? Please help, i want this book today without any problems.

    3 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2013

    So-so

    Griffin Shaw is a Centurion - an angel who takes newly-dead souls to the Everlast. He takes pity on a newly-dead woman, Nicole, and brings her back to life so she can change her clothes (because, of course, you spend eternity in te clothes you die in). This makes his superiors angry, so they transform him into a living human, where he meets Nic's best friend, Kit Craig. Journalists Kit and Nic were working to uncover a prostitution ring and Nic was killed because of their work on the story. Kit is next to die, but Grif has a hard time carrying out his orders. The storyline revolves around their sleuthing attempts to discover Nic's killer and their growing attraction to each other, which Grif resists because of his need to discover how his wife was killed - and the fact that, as an angel, he doesn't want to get involved with a human. I was tired of the plot by the time the novel ended.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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