Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Book Review: Master of None by Sonya Bateman


Master of NoneTitle: Master of None
Author: Sonya Bateman
Number of pages: 384 pages
Release Date: 30 March 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: review copy received from publisher
Purchasing info: Goodreads, Author's website, Book Depository US, Book Depository UK, Amazon, Kindle store

Grade: 5 stars!

Novellus perfectus!

2010 Top Read!


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 thoughts: Though the blurb sounded interesting, when I picked up Master of None I wasn't prepared to what an amazing novel it would be. I gobbled it up in a few days and remained excited about the story for weeks (I still get enthusiastic whenever I just think about it).

Master of None is Sonya Bateman's debut novel, and seeing the way she started her writing carrier, let me tell you we are in for a ride!

First of all I was blown away by the fresh and completely original approach she took in an urban fantasy novel: 1) the protagonist of the novel is a MAN! Can't remember the last time (or if I ever) came across a male narrator in UF books... 2) the supernatural creatures in Master of None are sorry djinns! Not vampires, not angels but djinns! The huge-blue-Aladdin kind of genies (if Ian heard me, I'd be in trouble...) (well except that the genies here aren't that nice but rather bloodthirsty and quite violent, but they are equally funny)!

Second of all, besides the exciting and original plot she created, Sonya Bateman's writing style is divine! It is laugh out loud funny yet descriptive, full of evocative details, yet is an exciting, fast paced pageturner managing all the while to keep the readers' attention all through the 384 pages of the novel and provide fantastic entertainment. While I read Master of None I was transported into Gavyn and Ian's world, Sonya Bateman is incredibly gifted, she has a way with words!

The characterization in Master of None is fantastic: Gavyn, Ian and the supporting characters step off the pages, they seem more than mere characters in a novel. Each one of them is individual in its own way, and Sonya created something brilliant with the relationship between Gavyn and Ian! I was constantly amazed at how perfetly Sonya Bateman as a female author could portray Gavyn. It is tricky when the story is told from the first person, but even more so when the narrator is of the different sex. Well Sonya Bateman not only pulled it off, she excelled at it! Both Gavyn and Ian are amazing characters: while Gavyn's dry humour and self deprecating comments made him a lovable and fun character, with Ian it was his rudely sarcastic and his dry, biting comments which made me crack up at every second sentence, he was such a unique breath of fresh air in the usually gloomy UF universe. 

Though I've tried ever since I read it in May, I can't praise Master of None enough. Not only is it a brilliantly entertaining book, it is also a very high quality piece of literature.

Verdict: Master of None has its permanent place in my 2010 Top Reads List, and if you want to read an original, unique, laugh out loud funny, brilliant urban fantasy novel, pick up Master of None, you'll be in for a treat!!

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

Thankfully Master of None is the 1st book in a series, book #2 (Master and Apprentice) will be out in April 2011! Spring can't come soon enough! :-D

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