Monday, June 11, 2012

Guest Review and Giveaway: The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

The Taken
(Celestial Blues #1)
Vicki Pettersson
Release: June 12, 2012

Goodreads   Amazon

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 a celestial Centurion, assisting the recently, and violently, dead. Yet just because he’s an angel doesn’t mean he’s a saint. One small mistake has altered fate, and now he’s been dumped back onto to 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 this sable-haired siren with hairpin curves come to harm. Besides, protecting her offers a chance to find the truth about his own mysterious death — and wreak some vengeance for the murder 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 Griffin’s biggest threat. His growing attraction to Kit could cost them both their lives, as well as the answer to the greatest mystery of his long afterlife …

Who killed Griffin Shaw?

Read an excerpt from The Taken HERE

Guest Review

This review comes from my friend and fellow blogger Cat at
Addicted 2 Heroines

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 that we're able to understand the angels' various purposes and hierarchy without being overwhelmed or coming across as info dumping. And the dark noir mystery vibe with its paranormal aspects and developing romance gave this novel a uniqueness that I have yet to experience in the urban fantasy genre.

The story focuses on two exceptional characters, Katherine "Kit" Craig and Griffin Shaw. Kit is a rockabilly reporter with Bettie Page bangs and dresses that would make June Cleaver proud. She's a protagonist that stands out not only because of her 50's lifestyle, but because of her encouraging, positive attitude despite her tragic past. She's strong, independent, and unwavering in her values and beliefs.

Also, looking beautiful is one of her top priorities, which I admired. During her investigations, she makes trips to the beauty salon to have her hair pinned and nails manicured. While I very much admire the protagonists that are strong and lethal with well-conditioned bodies, it was nice to have a softer, curvier, more feminine character to relate to.

"Craig wasn't big or small, but right in the middle where a woman should be. She was like that roller coaster he'd loved at Coney Island as a kid, made up of long slopes and wide curves, built for thrills. Something wild, he thought, but also something that made a man just want to let go."

Griffin Shaw, former P.I., died in the 1950's and became a Centurion, an angel whose job is escorting souls to the Everlast. He was demoted, placed back in his human flesh, as punishment for assisting in anchoring a recently murdered body, allowing the deceased to become temporarily reanimated. He's blunt, moody, insensitive and sports a coconut-scented pompadour under his stingy brim fedora. He's also a troubled soul, haunted by his past and the questions surrounding the death of his wife, Evie.

"Your love should have saved me." 
"I know." 
"You weren't strong enough." 
... "I know that, too." 
"Are you strong enough now?"

A series of unfortunate events bring Grif and Kit together and they team up to find those responsible for murdering her best friend, Nicole Rockwell. What they discover is a dark, disturbing mystery involving a seedy underworld of prostitution rings. 

As the story progresses, you realize Kit and Grif have much more in common than their 50's clothing and lifestyle. They both consider themselves "lone wolves", they're both dedicated and determined when they have their mind set on a goal, often to the point of stubbornness, and discovering the truth is one of their highest priorities. As Grif often says, "Facts were bricks." You can't build a wall without them.

While I gush and drool over this story, and would love to do it a whole lot more, I can also admit to understanding why this wouldn't be enjoyed by everyone. This isn't written like your typical urban fantasy, so don't let the references to angels, souls, and the hints at romance fool you. As I mentioned before, this has a dark noir/hardboiled mystery feel to it, so violence, sex crimes, and several demeaning references to women are to be expected.

Also, the mystery is at times so dark that some readers will find certain aspects of this story too disturbing for their taste. The villains are sick, twisted, and undeniably evil. They are created in a realistic way that provides an unpleasant reminder that this level of evil exists outside of paranormal mysteries.

Overall, The Taken was a debut novel that I enjoyed immensely. I savored every moment and will be impatiently waiting for the sequel. 5 well-deserved stars.

"And you can lay odds that a man who's driven in his life's pursuits - whatever they are - will be equally driven when it comes to you." Stilling suddenly, she looked up from her work. "You can lose yourself to a man like that."


A huge thank you to my good friend, Goldilox, for allowing me to stop by and share my thoughts. And thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my review.

 If you would like to win a copy of The Taken, please fill in the Rafflecopter below.

Rafflecopter code - a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. LOL I love how she stays vain in between fights :)

  2. i'm really intrigued by this book thanks you for this international opportunity to win it

  3. Loved your review Cat.

    Is it part of the Terrible Girls thing?

    Last question - is the giveaway international Goldilox?

  4. This sounds really good, great guest post!

  5. Great Review. I have had my eye on this book.

  6. This is a great review between the two of you ladies! Loved it.

  7. Braine - Definitely not like any other protagonist I've read about =) And Grif would get so irritated with her for taking the time out to make herself pretty. Very funny.

    miki - Thanks for commenting! Good luck ;-)

    Escapism Fanatic - Yes, it's international. And not part of TGC.

    Danielle, Jenn, & Jenese - Thank you! <3

  8. thanks for a great interview..


  9. I enjoyed the interview and now I've got a much better idea of what the book is all about. I'm really looking forward to reading The Taken.


I love to read comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...