Master of None by Sonya Bateman
March 30th, 2010
Paperback, 384 Pages
Why I read: Author asked for a review, and I couldn’t pass up a story with a genie. Tori just happened to be reading it at the same time!
Favorite Quote: Why couldn’t I get the djinn of lollipops and happiness?
Tori: Hi everyone…it’s Tori. Mandi graciously asked me to do a joint review with her on Sonya Bateman’s exciting debut novel-Master Of None. I have to say that this book completely took me by surprise. While I expected to be entertained as I love nothing better then a grumpy supernatural; I didn’t expect to be taken by it as I was. How about you Mandi?
Mandi: Taken by surprise is the perfect way to describe it! While I started by giggling along with our hero Gavyn, by the end I was on the edge of my seat rooting for many characters that stole my heart. We start with Gavyn Donatti who makes his living as a thief – a thief that has lost something very important to his employer and is now in big trouble. Gavyn was suppose to steal a knife and hand it over to Trevor, now the knife is gone, and Trevor has sent his goons out to make Gavyn pay. Just as Gavyn thinks he is done for, a mysterious man appears claiming Gavyn is his and he is not to be harmed. After witnessing this man get hit with bullets and not even be phased, Gavyn realizes something not normal is at play.
Ian is a djinn, or a genie, sent to watch over Gavyn until he fulfills his life’s goal – whatever that may be. Ian is cranky that the person he is now in charge of is a low life thief. Gavyn never asked for a genie to follow him around and has enough complications in his life without a foul tempered genie to get in his way. But it is not long before Trevor’s men show up again. When Gavyn’s ex-girlfriend Jazz, for whom he still has feelings for, enters the picture, with a very surprising admission, Gavyn is going to need all the help he can get to keep those he loves safe.
Let’s start with Gavyn – I found it unusual to read an urban fantasy in the POV of a man! I loved his voice and he had me cracking up throughout the entire book. Did he have the same effect on you?
Tori: Yes he did. I enjoyed it immensely because it was from a mans POV. It was so much more laid back. Often when women are the “heros” they have to be bigger and badder then their male counterparts. So much action is introduced early on and I almost feel overwhelmed. But this storyline was introduced so smoothly that I was halfway through the book before I realized it. Gavyn has a dry sense of humor; especially at his own expense.
I have to say that Ian caught my eye and had me from the beginning. Even bitchy he’s hawt. You don’t see many stories about djinns that aren’t pure SiFi so this was a nice change.
Mandi: Who knew I would fall for a cranky-ass genie? And while Ian was a bit of a mystery to begin with, as he tells his story and the history of his kind, he becomes a well developed character and one that broke my heart. His situation in life is not just to follow around Gavyn. There is so much more to his story (best to be revealed as you read) that will have you rooting and cheering for him at the end. Sonya Bateman does a nice job portraying Ian’s pain, through the point of view of Gavyn.
Jazz, Gavyn’s ex-girlfriend plays a big role and is the more rough and tough part of the relationship. This isn’t a very mushy romantic book, but there are definitely residual feelings on both sides. I liked that Jazz was the alpha in the relationship. Gavyn doesn’t like violence or making the decisions. Which is another reason this book really grabbed me – Gavyn is such a different type of hero. Besides the humor and Ian’s story, Trevor is a villain you don’t want to mess around with. I thought he was very evil. When he is torturing and you think, oh he is not really going to rip off that person’s fingernail – and then he does! EVIL!
Tori: To me this story was so much more then just a PNR. It is a story of redemption. Forgiveness. And love. In the beginning Ian tells Gavyn that he is there to help him realize his potential. But throughout the book you realize that Ian learns much from Gavyn also.
Gavyn becomes the most wonderful “accidental” hero. He has so many wonderful qualities that are buried under his bad luck. His character development is more of an awakening. The qualities we see are ones he’s always had-but never strived for.
You summed it up perfectly about Jazz. She IS the alpha in their relationship and hides a generous heart under her gruff exterior. While she has pretty much written Gavyn off she comes to his rescue often enough that you know their past is NOT in the past for her. The rest of the cast is beautifully written. The secondary storylines blend in seamlessly with the main plot. Ms Bateman has a wonderful way of introducing new characters at the perfect moment-just when you need them. The ending was written brilliantly and leaves off in a way that would allow Ms Bateman to write more about this world. I will definitely put Ms Bateman on my fav authors to read list. My rating: 4.5/5
Mandi: I completely agree Tori!! You expressed Gavyn and Ian perfectly! I wished at some points Ian’s powers would have been a bit more concrete. For example, at first we are told he becomes invisible when he turns into a dog, but then later he is also invisible as a human. I felt like the rules could have been a bit more clear. I also think the story slows down when the history and back story of the djinns is introduced. That being said, Master of None is a book that will take you on a surprising journey. You will laugh, cheer and root along with these vibrant characters. My rating: 4/5