On the cover of Master of None by Sonya Bateman it says “Nobody ever dreamed of a genie like this“. That is so true.
Lets start with what Goodreads has to say:
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. . . .
While the story is dead serious it is serious with a big touch of humor.
Characters: Gavyn Donatti is a great character. You get his backstory and get to watch him grow and change. Ian is a hoot. As it says he is big surly and hard to like at first. He is also funny even though he does not mean to be. Jazz is great. She and Gavyn have a past and it keeps the tension going. There are more side character than I can list, all are well developed and most have a big part in the story. Since this is the first in the series I would guess that they will all have a story later.
Plot: Everything that happens follows in order but not necessarily what I expected. In some ways the plot is like a onion. It has a lot of layers and they peel back a little at a time. It keeps the action interesting and full of surprises.
Worldbuilding: This is a debut novel and Bateman has done a masterful joy of building a paranormal world none of us see but it is right here where we live. Expect several surprises.
Tension: It starts out with tension between Gavyn and Ian and as that tension eases more builds and builds in every direction. There is tension caused by past actions, tension because of the bad guys, tension in the everyday world and a lot of tension caused by the actions in the paranormal world.
The book surprised me. When I read that Gavyn found a genie I did not expect what he got. Once I got over my expectations I loved everything about the book. It was not a fast read but well worth the time. The second book Master and Apprentice came out in 2011. I have that one on my wish list.
Pocket Books published Master of None by Sonya Bateman in 2010.