Tag Archives: The Taken

[REVIEW] The Taken – Vicki Pettersson

Vicki Pettersson
The Taken (Celestial Blues, Book 1)
HarperCollins Voyager (CA: 4th June 2012; US: 12th June 2012; UK: 11th October 2012; AU: 15th September 2012)
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I really like the first three books in the Signs of the Zodiac series (the next two are on my shelf; I’ve yet to acquire the last), so I was looking forward to Vicki Pettersson’s new Celestial Blues series.

But The Taken‘s plot is nothing new: Powerful and/or wealthy men run a prostitution ring involving underage girls. Someone investigating it is murdered. The new element is a Mormon leader is a head honcho, auctioning off the virginity of girls in his Church, including his own daughters.

Organised religion. If it’s not in an “inspirational” novel, it’s usually portrayed as bad. These authors should take a page from South Park: In that episode, yes, the origins of the religion are mocked, but the Mormon family and their values are really nice and non-corrupt. So why the evil Mormon in The Taken? Yes, the guy needs a way to access to a lot of virgins, but why specify him as Mormon? He seems to not respect women, yet he’s married a bunch of them. Polygamy may be illegal in some places, but it’s not evil – not when everyone in question consents to the marriages.

I’m not religious or spiritual, but it made me uncomfortable to read. Like the whole religion is being judged as evil, instead of just this one character. That doesn’t seem fair.

But I can be totally critical, too, and I am when it comes to the rockabilly “lifestyle” as portrayed in the novel. (The real deal may be entirely different, so I’m judging only the story’s version.) Kit Craig claims it’s not superficial, but when explaining what it’s about proves that it does indeed sound shallow: Clothes, cosmetics, hairdos, tattoos, cigarettes, hot rods, and pinups.

Griffin Shaw, who actually lived in the 1950s, is suitably sceptical of the lifestyle. The ’50s were like any other period – such as now – with war, corruption, street-hooking, and murder. There’s a scene in a tiki bar (I still don’t know what “tiki” means), in which there’s something about the billies being afraid of death, so they choose to live like it’s the past, but I don’t quite follow.

Kit’s logic differs to mine on other matters, too. I’m not a fan.

I’m fine with Grif, but I don’t get all the stuff about the Everlast and angels. I often struggle with the supernatural (my logic), though; it simply requires too much suspension of disbelief, and I don’t have that patience.

But the setting of Las Vegas is fabulous as always. Vicki Pettersson writes it so well that even someone like me who’s never been there can learn to love it. But the rest of the book just didn’t grab me. I’ll be giving Book 2, The Lost, a fair go, but what I really want to read is the rest of the Zodiac novels.

October 2012 Releases

Done with September 2012 Releases? Here are October 2012 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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August 2012 Releases

Done with July 2012 Releases? Here are August 2012 Releases. Fur future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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12th June Releases

Happy Release Day to…

Richelle Mead
The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, Book 2)
Penguin (US, UK, CA, AU: 12th June 2012)
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Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California – tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist. But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi – the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that – special, magical, powerful – that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else – someone forbidden to her. When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her. Should she trust the Alchemists – or her heart?

Diana Peterfreund
For Darkness Shows the Stars
HarperCollins Balzer + Bray (US: 12th June 2012)
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It’s been several generations since a genetic experiment gone wrong caused the Reduction, decimating humanity and giving rise to Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology. Elliot North has always known her place in this world. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. Since then the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress, and Elliot’s estate is foundering, forcing her to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth – an almost unrecognisable Kai. And while Elliot wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she let him go. But Elliot soon discovers her old friend carries a secret – one that could change their society…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she’s lost him forever.

Vicki Pettersson
The Taken
HarperCollins Voyager (US: 12th June 2012)
Buy (US) Buy (UK) Buy (CA) Buy (Worldwide)

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…

June 2012 Releases

Done with May 2012 Releases? Here are June 2012 Releases. For future releases, check Reading Wishlist.

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10 New Covers (Armstrong, Brewer, Elrod, Guran, Hart, Pettersson, Rose, Tentler, Vincent)

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9 New Deals (Bickle, Harrison, Hayes, Jones, Pettersson, Silver, Spindler, Stiefvater, Tracey)

Laura Bickle‘s The Hallowed Ones & a sequel to Graphia (NA). Pitched as Witness meets 28 Days Later in which an Amish girl must protect her family from a violent contagion, even as fear and denial threaten to erode her community from within.

Kim Harrison‘s The Hollows series has been optioned for small screen production through the CW network.

Erica Hayes‘s new dark paranormal romance series in a 2-book deal to Berkley (World). Book 1, Revelation, is set in a decadent, near-future Manhattan, in which a young medical examiner who’s lost her faith must team up with a fallen angel warrior to stop a gang of demons hijacking the Apocalypse & creating hell on earth.

Darynda Jones‘s next 2 books in the Charley Davidson series to St. Martin’s (NA). Features a private investigator by day & grim reaper by night.

Vicki Pettersson‘s new supernatural noir mystery series to Harper Voyager (World rights) in a 3-book deal. The Taken is scheduled for June 2012.

Eve Silver‘s Respawn to Katherine Tegen Books (NA) in a 3-book deal. 1st in a teen series about a girl who finds herself inside a “game” where she must hunt aliens, or be hunted by them.

Erica Spindler‘s Don’t Look Back in a 2-book deal to St. Martin’s (World).

Maggie Stiefvater‘s The Scorpio Races to Warner Brothers, for David Katzenberg & Seth Grahame-Smith’s KatzSmith Productions to produce. About the craggy island of Thisby, where the savage & beautiful water horses emerge from the waves, & 2 teens risk everything – love & life – in the violent, glorious Scorpio Races.

Scott Tracey‘s Phantom Eyes to Flux (World English).