Book Review: The Taken (Celestial Blues #1) by Vicki Pettersson

The Taken is the first book in the Celestial Blues series by Vicki Pettersson. Griffin Shaw used to be a PI, but that was back when he was still alive. Fifty years have passed and he's an angel helping the souls of the newly dead find their way. One mistake altered fate, and now he's back on mortal mudflat to collect another soul. However that soul, Katherine "Kit" Craig, is a journalist whose latest investigation is about to get her killed like it did her best friend. Grif refuses to let her die. His fascination with Kit saves her life, while also offering a chance to solve the mystery of his own unsolved murder. Kit and Grif search for answers leads past the Strip and into the dark heart of an evil conspiracy. A ruthless killer is determined to destroy them, but Grif's angelic watchers and attraction to Kit might pose as big of a threat as the mortal conspiracies.

The Taken has a neat concept, and the characters started out brilliantly. I loved the idea of afterlife and the world building that Pettersson does here. I am intrigued by the hierarchy and want to read further just to explore this aspect of the series.  In the first few chapters I really came to enjoy the determination and quirks of both Kit and Grif. Soon I was interested in the side characters and mystery surroundi9ng Kit's investigation and the much larger conspiracy that I knew must be there. Grif was a private investigator back in the 1960's, and close the members of the Vegas mob families. Kit is a dedicated reporter living the rockabilly lifestyle. They are both interesting, and attracted to each other almost instantly. However, the character's individual quirks slowly became a little old and stale- with a regular repetition about what makes them each 'unique'. It was a little distracting after a bit, but I was able to push it aside for the most part. However, I hope that some of this is to get everything solid in the reader's mind so that when we move onto book two in the series the character and mythology is firm in our heads.

I would recommend The Taken to readers that enjoy Pettersson's other works, those that enjoy books featuring angels and similar creatures, and those that enjoy a mystery with a nostalgic feel. The mystery is solid, with a solution that left me more than a little heartbroken for some of the characters. However, the larger mystery about Grif is left unsolved, presumably to carry through the series as the connecting arch. The romance is well done, if not a little frustrating at times, but a good read for a cold winters night or while traveling.

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