ARC Review: The Taken by Vicki Pettersson


Posted June 7, 2012 by Carmel in / 11 Comments

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

Title: The Taken
Series: Celestial Blues #1
Author: Vicki Pettersson
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Format: Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Published: June 12, 2012
ISBN #: 9780062064646 / 0062064649
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: provided by Harper Collins Canada
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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…

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 person POV and because of this I never managed to really get into the story.

I enjoyed the rockabilly aspect of this novel. It’s the first time I’ve encountered anything of the sort so it really stood out. Having a hobby is one thing but Kit takes her obsession to a whole new level by staying true to her favourite era as much as possible. From watching the news on an old school tube TV (I’d miss my LCD within the hour) to her vintage clothing and hairstyles. Her lifestyle helped with Griffin’s transition into the modern day world. Being surrounded by cellphones, computers and the multitude of other 21st century inventions was a little overwhelming so hanging out with miss Craig definitely helped to lessen the blow.

The pacing of The Taken is a little on the slow side. I started to get pretty impatient in the beginning waiting for something to finally happen only to have to stick it out until roughly the half-way point. That combined with the 3rd person narration really dampened my reading experience. I had a hard time connecting with either of the main characters because of the POV. The dialogue was also rather stiff. Some witty banter would have gone a long way into livening up the story. I understand that Griffin’s not the most outgoing person but his single word replies made it difficult to get a feel for him. That being said, I did like him more than Kit. Her perpetual cheeriness is never fully explained and as a result came off as forced, to the point of being fake.

The murder investigation aspect of the story was enjoyable. I thought it was imaginative and downright disturbing in its conclusion which is fine because I love a good jaw dropping ending. Then there’s the angel angle. Unfortunately, very little is explained about them so every time a new celestial being popped-up it left me scratching my head. There’s also a character named Tony that outright disappears for a while and neither of the two main peeps seem to even notice; he then reappears and no explanation is given. Finally, the whole dead wife murder investigation subplot pretty much goes pouf as well. I found that there were too many holes and lose ends in this story to the point that it felt unfinished. Granted, I’m basing my review on an advanced, unedited proof so perhaps all of my beefs have been resolved in the final version.

The Taken is a dark tale modeled off of the butterfly effect and has all of the makings of a great story but unfortunately there were just too many elements that didn’t sit right with me. Regardless, I’m interested to see what the next installment has in store because of this book’s originality.

HarperCollins Canada
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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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11 responses to “ARC Review: The Taken by Vicki Pettersson

  1. This book sounds very interesting. I’m sorry that there are certain aspects of it that you didn’t enjoy. I’m going to see if this one is available in our library system. Great review by the way 🙂

  2. *sigh* The pacing… Really enjoyed it, other than the pacing. You are very right about the jaw dropping ending. Nice review Carmel!

  3. Yep, I felt the same as you. I know Vicki is a fantastic writer so maybe my expectations were high. But it felt slow to me and things felt awkward at times. Pretty much agree with everything you said though! Fantastic review!

  4. I was very curious about this one so thanks for the review, always interesting to learn more! I confess it”s always difficult for me to have slow parts… I hope your feelings will improve with the sequel.

  5. Nice review! I am excited about this one just because I loved Vicki’s first series! Sometimes it is hard to say slightly negative things about a book by an author you’ve enjoyed. But I think your review was really splendid! Granted, now I am a little worried I might not enjoy it as much, but I still gotta give it a try! And maybe you were right that the ARC is leaving things a little unsatisfying. I’ll just have to wait and see I suppose!