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Review: The Given by Vicki Pettersson

Review: The Given by Vicki Pettersson
The Given by Vicki Pettersson
Series: Celestial Blues #3
Published by Harper Voyager
Published on: May 27, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: NetGalley
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New York Times bestselling author Vicki Pettersson continues her breakout new supernatural noir mystery series as a fallen angel and a reporter team up to stop a drug cartel.

After learning his wife survived the attack that killed him fifty years earlier, angel/PI Griffin Shaw is determined to find Evelyn Shaw, no matter the cost. Yet his obsession comes at a price. Grif has had to give up his burgeoning love for reporter Katherine “Kit” Craig, the woman who made life worth living again, and dedicate himself to finding one he no longer knows.

Yet when Grif is attacked again, it becomes clear that there are forces in both the mortal and heavenly realm who’d rather see him dead than unearth the well-buried secrets of his past. If he’s to survive his second go-round on the Surface, Grif will have to convince Kit to reunite with him professionally, and help uncover decades of police corruption, risking both their lives . . . and testing the limits to what one angel is really willing to give for love.

tear unique Astonishing

This series is a great way to switch things up if you’re looking for something that’s a little outside the paranorm, and it’s also a trilogy which makes it not too daunting of a commitment. The supernatural elements are subtle, the mystery is complex and engrossing, and the ending is unexpectedly uplifting. I missed the rockabilly aspects that were at the forefront of book 1, and the story lagged a bit in the earlier chapters, but overall this was by far my favourite installment out of the three. Once the revelations start pouring in—there’s no lack of excitement which helped catapult this novel into five star territory.

I enjoyed the Vegas old school mob plot line that’s at the center of THE GIVEN. This component has been present to a lesser degree throughout this series, but really gets amped-up in this final book. Sin City has changed dramatically in the last fifty years, so it was interesting to see that in spite of the odds, some things have stayed the same. Old habits die hard, and even though the villains are rather elderly, that doesn’t make them any less capable or vicious. If anything, the fact that this vendetta has endured for five decades made the truth cut extra deep.

Grif and Kit’s relationship, both professional and personal, really came together in this installment. When I first started reading this series I wasn’t sure how the romance was going to play out, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by its conclusion. At times it seemed like Heaven was conspiring against them, and I couldn’t help but wonder who’s side the Pures were really on. Their motivations still aren’t entirely clear which I suppose was the point because God tends to work in mysterious ways, but at the end of the day this only served to reinforce the fact that true love conquers all.

The noir twister is well-written, difficult to predict, and thrilling to unravel. I loved the way that the story arc came full circle, literally. I’m all for tying up loose ends, but Pettersson takes that to a whole new level with this novel. Grif’s life actually finished and began anew in the exact same spot which was pure genius! But, I wasn’t overly shocked when the author revealed Evie’s true identity which was mildly disappointing. I did however enjoy the surprise HEA because I honestly expected this trilogy to close on a sad note given its dark tone.

THE GIVEN is a stunning conclusion to an unusual trilogy that’ll leave you wishing that it hadn’t ended so soon.

Celestial Blues

My Review

My Review

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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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  1. I love those covers. The classic noir look with a splash of color. I would love it on my shelf even if I haven’t read it just for the timeless look.

    • The covers and the unique concept are what first hooked me, but this trilogy has so much more to offer than just that!

  2. “the ending is unexpectedly uplifting” I could not agree with you more! Holy cow that letter just letter me stuttering. Very thoughtful & written review Carmel!

  3. OOoh nice!! I finally got around to reading this series (having bought the books when they released) just a few months ago. So I’m all psyched to read the conclusion to this series! Gotta say I was worried a HEA wouldn’t pan out after book 2, but glad to hear that there is one! Looking forward to reading this one eventually–as I just got a ton of ARCs that require my attention!

    Again, awesome review!

    • Rest assured that the HEA is unexpectedly delightful! I hope you enjoy it was much as I did.

  4. Oh, yay! A strong ending! I’ve enjoyed this series quite a bit, just because it was so different. I liked the peek inside the Rockabillly lifestyle as well as the old school mob plotline.

    • If you’ve enjoyed the previous installments you definitely will NOT be disappointed with this conclusion!

  5. Ooh this does sound different and great! I love how you describe the tying up loose end bit it sounds like she really did something neat there! I’ll have to keep an eye out for this one for sure!

    • Neat is an understatement! I wish I could say more, but spoiler alert! LOL

  6. I’m glad this series ended on a amazing note. I’ve read a few of the books from her Signs of the Zodiac series and really enjoyed them. Good to know that there’s only three in this series so I add them to my wishlist. Wonderful review, Carmel 🙂

    • I do love a good trilogy! I’ll have to check-out her Signs of the Zodiac series next.

  7. Oh, hey, I just saw Brain Talk Supe review this not too long ago, and both of you loved it too. That speaks a lot when two bloggers I respect love something together 🙂 I’ve yet to read the first two, so I only read snippets of your review, but it sounds promising from what I gathered. It has definitely put you on your toes, that’s for sure!

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews

    • Braine just posted her series review today too, so it definitely wasn’t very long ago. LOL She binge read these books; that’s how good they are!

  8. You had me at old school Vegas. Why have I not heard of this series before now? I am off to look up the first book.

  9. This is a serious on my wishlist, I love noir and this sounds so well done from the characters to the storyline.

    • Nice! I’m sure that you, Grif and Kit will hit it off.

  10. I didn’t realize this was just a trilogy! Thanks to your review, now I know. I am always wary about starting new UF series because I’m already juggling so many and at I just keep adding more – at some point something gonna give. So now that I know the third and final book is out tomorrow, trilogy finished and complete, I’ll probably add this to my list.

    • It’s true, some UF series’ have a crazy number of installments, but you’re safe with this trilogy. 🙂

  11. This series sounds really cool! Sometimes I like trilogies because they are less of a commitment, but I’m also brokenhearted when they end.

    • The pros far outweigh the cons where trilogies are concerned IMO.

  12. I have been so tempted to pick up this trilogy but haven’t. I need to to now after seeing five stars for the final book! So many series ending this year!

    • Not every installment was a 5-star read, but I really liked how Pettersson ended this series.

  13. I have all three of these books on my ereader. I hoped to have read them in time for the release for this one but at last time and other books got in the way. I’ll read them soon!

    • Admit it, the only reason why you haven’t tackled these books yet is because you actually have to “read” them. 😀

  14. I was hoping as soon as you said TRILOGY that I already had the first book and then as I saw your pic of the entire series I was like YES score already have it. Now I’m must more prone to reading it knowing I’m not already a zillion books behind and that closure is within my grasp seeing as it’s complete now. Glad to hear the ending wasn’t sad either, cause you know sad is good sometimes but I do like some happy endings too!

    • HEAs are preferable, and I was definitely surprised by this one.

  15. I have the first two in my library and have been meaning to start them for a while now. It sounds like such a unique series.

  16. Their relationship sounds like something that I would enjoy even if it did lag a bit in the beginning, maybe the uniqueness factor would make up for it.

    • Their relationship’s been on-again-off-again throughout this trilogy, so I expected the lag, but it all worked out in the end.

  17. That good? Did not know that 🙂

    • This was probably a 4-star read overall, but that ending tipped it over the edge.

  18. Got the first ones and I’m DEFINITELY reading this cause dayum, it sounds fabulous!! Kyaaaa for awesome reads!!

    • YAY! Glad I was able to make you bump these books up your list.

  19. Oh gosh, that HEA! for a minute there I thought that it will never happen. I can’t count the number of times my heart broke for Kit here. Grif is one challenging man to love and be with. Now I want to read her Zodiac series, I hope it’s as good if not better than this.

    • YES! Pettersson really leaves readers in suspense until the very end. It was brutal (and awesome!).

  20. I only skimmed this review because this series is totally on my radar and I can’t wait until I eventually get to it…my tbr is out of control! 🙂

    • Haha Ok, well you can tell me if you liked it… next year. 😉

  21. Great review Carmel! I’ve listening to this one for sure 🙂

    • Is it in audio? The dark nature of the story would make it an interesting listen for sure.

  22. Great review Carmel. You definitely have left me wanting to know more about this series! It sounds like things came together well in this final installment. It is good to see the author was able to surprise you right until the end!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

  23. Definitely a different kind of UF. I feel like I missed out not checking this series out. Everyone seems to love it. Great review.

    • It’s never too late to start! 3 books is totally do-able.

  24. I read first book and liked it, I don’t know why I didn’t continue with this series. Now I know I need to read book 2 and 3.
    Great review.

    • I’m sure that you meant too, it just got lost in the shuffle. These things happen!

  25. I didn’t know it was a trilogy. But It’s so nice to see you had a great time with the last one because it’s always so tricky. I really want to discover the first book because I love books during this period. So curious, I’ll have to buy book 1!

  26. This is only a trilogy? Sweet! I have the first but thought I was going to be so far behind by the time I read it. Now I’m happy. Especially since it ended so well!

  27. Great Review Carmel. I would not have noticed this book based on the cover (yes I am a cover-junkie) but the premise sounds great. I love a good Paranormal Angel Book!!

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

  28. Lovely review Carmel, thank you. I really want to read this series!

  29. I’m pretty sure one of your earlier reviews already landed this series on my TBR – but now that it’s ending and with such a fantastic bang, I think I need to up it on the TBR.

  30. I like that it a well written trilogy, it sounds entrancing!