The Taken is the first book in Vicki Pettersson’s Celestial Blues series. It centers around Kit, a Rockabilly journalist living in Las Vegas, and Grif, a dead guy. Okay, so it’s a bit more involved than that, but that gets the most important character attributes out of the way. Grif is actually a Centurion–not really a “Pure” angel, but has the sorta-kinda powers of one. He helps guide people who have just died in brutal ways into the Everlast. He makes a mistake though, when taking Nic, Kit’s best friend and journalistic cohort, which destines Kit to be murdered. Grif is punished by being forced back into the flesh. Grif’s next take is supposed to be Kit, but since he’s donning flesh, he also has the power of freewill. So instead, he saves Kit’s life, thus poking a stick into destiny’s cogwheel once more.
The story is an exciting one that deals with prostitution, murder, police corruption, and more! Mix in a bit of the paranormal and some detective noir and you have yourself a gritty, engaging story. There’s lots of room for surprising plot twists and “AH HA!” moments, but unfortunately those don’t really come. The story just plays itself out. You know exactly what’s going to happen. There are no real big reveals. You know who’s bad and who’s good, leaving little room for the grey. So while the story does keep you engrossed as it moves forward, there’s no place that makes you stop and gasp. No place that leaves you needing to take a moment to digest what just happened, but it felt like it should have.
Over all, The Taken makes for an entertaining story. It’s a good read for anyone who likes serious paranormal romances or detective noir.