Bateman, Sonya: Master of None (Gavin Donatti I) (2010)

Designed by Jaquelynne Hudson Illustration by Gordon Crabb Cover design by Lisa Litwack

Master of None is Sonya Bateman’s debut novel and she does a good job with it. Her characters are fun and loony. My favorite one is Trevor, the VP-baddie.

Trevor is the kind of nut that I thoroughly enjoy. He is completely unpredictable. If one of his goons displeases him at all, Trevor will shoot them on the spot. He he has put the fear of himself into both criminals and the police in the area. Even the locals know not to get Trevor’s ire up. Remember – one must not displease Trevor:

“I don’t believe in trust. I believe in control.” Frigid green eyes settled on me for a moment and then languidly scanned the rest of the group. “Conner. Come here please.”

The cop approached Trevor, his expression neutral. “What’s up?”

“Where is our friend in the trench coat?”

“Still in the van. He’s dead.”

Trevor stared at him. “You must be mistaken.”

“Uh …” A flicker of unease penetrated Conner’s features. “No, he’s gone. I shot him a few times, just to make sure.”

“Did I tell you to shoot him?”

Those flat words were Conner’s death sentence. I knew it. Conner did too.

“Wait.” Conner stumbled back. “Trevor, I-”

Trevor’s arm jackknifed up to press the gun against Conner’s forehead. He fired without hesitation. The silencer allowed a whining snap, no louder than a breaking branch. Trevor didn’t even blink when the cop’s blood spattered his face and pristine linen shirt. The body dropped to the floor. Trevor released a short sigh and shook his head.

That kind of bad. Completely amoral. Anything goes as long as Trevor gets his way. Not the kind of bad that I would like to meet. Not at all!

Gavin Donatti has the great misfortune of having botched his latest job for Trevor and Gavin has the sense to be frightened shitless. When we meet him, Gavin is doing his best to stay ahead of Trevor and his goons. Sadly, he is not doing a very good job of it. However, as usual his unlucky streak seems to run out at an essential moment, the moment when the Djinn/genie Ian steps into his life. These two guys are the main characters of the story. Gavin needs Ian and Ian needs Gavin to become more real.

In the beginning, I guess you could sum their relationship up with these words:

Being this surly bastard’s master was about as useful as ordering the weather around. And if achieving my life’s purpose depended upon coaxing a flesh-bound hurricane to cooperate with me, I’d take eternal bad luck.

Of course, things do not remain like this between the two of them throughout the novel, but they are never easy around each other. Gavin seems to have that talent, the talent to make people wary of being around him. Perhaps that has something to do with his luck and their misfortune whenever Gavin takes on a project. For the unluckiest thief on the earth, Gavin is awfully lucky. It isn’t that Gavin does anything to create the disasters that other people who work with him experience. In fact, he feels terrible about his spread of unhappiness all the while having Ms. Bateman show us Gavin’s reluctance to own what he has done. A reviewer called him yellow-bellied. I do not know the color of his belly, but I agree with the premise while all the time remembering that Gavin’s cowardice is interspersed with a great deal of courage (when needs must).

I liked “Master of None“.


  • ISBN: 9781439160848
  • Author: Bateman, Sonya
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Subject: Fantasy – Contemporary
  • Subject: Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy-Contemporary
  • Copyright: 2010
  • Edition Description: Mass market paperback
  • Publication Date: 20100331
  • Binding: MASS MARKET
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 384

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