Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Book Review: Master of None by Sonya Bateman (Gavyn Donatti #1)


Gavyn Donatti is the world's unluckiest thief. Just ask all the partners he's lost over the years. And when he misplaces an irreplaceable item he was hired to steal for his ruthless employer, Trevor—well, his latest bungle just might be his last. But then his luck finally turns: right when Trevor's thugs have him cornered, a djinn, otherwise known as a genie, appears to save him.

Unfortunately, this genie—who goes by the very non-magical name of "Ian"—is more Hellboy than dream girl. An overgrown and extremely surly man who seems to hate Donatti on the spot, he may call Donatti master, but he isn't interested in granting three wishes. He informs Donatti that he is bound to help the thief fulfill his life's purpose, and then he will be free. The problem is that neither Donatti nor Ian has any idea what exactly that purpose is.

At first Donatti's too concerned with his own survival to look a gift genie in the mouth, but when his ex-girlfriend Jazz and her young son get drawn into the crossfire, the stakes skyrocket. And when Ian reveals that he has an agenda of his own—with both Donatti and the murderous Trevor at the center of it—Donatti will have to become the man he never knew he could be, or the entire world could pay the price. . . 

My Review:
Gavyn Donatti is a hapless and unlucky thief who has just managed to lose the item he was hired to steal-and Local thug Trevor decides to teach him a lesson. His life is saved by Ian, a djinn who must stay and protect Gavyn-and he thinks that Gavyn is a complete waste of time. Gavyn ropes his ex-partner/ex-lover Jazz in to help them, endangering her and her son Cyrus. Trevor's evil plans go beyond torturing Gavyn and the world might depend on Gavyn and his team saving the day.

This was a really good urban fantasy adventure with action, humour and a series of great characters. In short it had pretty much everything I look for in this genre. The plot is not distracted with a big romance story for once (yea!) though Gavyn and Jazz do have history. The story concentrates on what is happening to them now and how they might have a second chance together if they all survive. The plot is fast paced and I loved that we had djinn, which you don't see as much of in these books. There is magic used by the characters but I like the fact that each spell drains the user so it is not just always using magic to save the day. They have to use it sparingly and engage their brains instead. And don't ask Ian for three wishes!

Gavyn is such a useless criminal that I instantly liked him. He doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut, leading to some amusing exchanges with Trevor and Ian. Jazz is smart, capable and feisty, but vulnerable when it comes to her son. She is a great female character. Ian is just brilliant-grumpy, intolerant, impatient and not enjoying the assignment. There is a lot of amusing snark between Gavyn and Ian as their relationship gradually develops trust. The addition of Lark, who has a real grudge against Gavyn over a botched job, just added to the fun in this book. I even liked Trevor the bad guy who had his moments. Finally we had Quaid the bounty hunter who wants to arrest Gavyn and always seems to show up at the most unfortunate times! I can't say that there was a character that I didn't enjoy in this book.

As I said the plot was very fast paced throughout, as poor Gavyn lurches from one disaster to the next! It is part road trip, part magical adventure and part gritty urban fantasy which when you add in the frequent humour and excellent characters, makes a pretty compelling read. There are bad plans, getting captured, interesting escapes, silly situations and magical moments. It has pretty much everything.

My one disappointment is that there only seems to be two full length novels and one short story, when I want to read so much more about Gavyn, Ian and the gang! I really hope the author is able to maybe self publish a third book. Fingers crossed!
star rating photo: 5 Star Rating 5stars.jpg


  1. This sounds really good! I don't think that I have read any books featuring a djinn. I will have to look for this one. Great review!

    1. It was GREAT to see a djinn! I've loved djinn since I saw the Wishmaster films! Ian is just brilliant in this book and Gavyn has no luck at all!