Gavyn Donatti is a thief as skilled as he is unlucky. He’s so unlucky, in fact, that only the most idiotic criminal would partner with him. But that shouldn’t be a problem, since his latest job isn’t a big deal. He just needs to steal some insignificant trinket for Trevor, a vicious fence.
Of course, it all goes horribly wrong. Donatti loses the trinket. Trevor, smelling a double-cross, sets his thugs on Donatti. But a stranger rescues him—a tall, peculiar-looking stranger who calls himself Ian, finds a gunshot wound in the chest merely annoying, and despises Donatti on sight. Ian claims to be a djinn, a genie, bound to serve Donatti until Donatti’s life’s purpose has been realized. Whatever that is.
With an immensely powerful magic being on his side, matters should be looking up. But Donatti’s bad luck continues. Trevor has a djinn of his own, and wants Donatti’s djinn too. He has also captured Donatti’s ex-partner-in-crime and ex-lover, Jazz, and her son—who is also, it turns out, Donatti’s son. This is a whole new level of bad luck for Donatti, yet things still manage to get worse: the age-old war among the djinni is coming to a head, and Trevor is allied with the djinni who threaten both the djinn and human worlds with destruction.
Sonya Bateman’s debut novel, Master of None, is an entertaining diversion, with likeable good guys (especially fierce getaway driver Jazz) and a very scary bad guy. From the perspective of an experienced urban fantasy fan, the novel throws few curveballs. But one of those breaking pitches is Bateman’s use of djinni as a fascinating magical race. The hostile Ian, his beloved wife, Akila, and their djinni friends and foes provide a refreshing change from UF’s habitual hordes of vampires, werewolves, and fairies.
Master of None
376 pages | Mass Market Paperback | $7.99
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