Tag Archives: #Djinn

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

masterofnonefinal2
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“.


Reviews:


  • 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

Caine, Rachel: The Morganville Vampires (2006-2013) / Weather Warden (2003-2010) / The Revivalist (2011- )

Rachel Caine, or Roxanne Longstreet Conrad as she is known to her friends, is a prolific writer. From what I have read of her writing (Morganville series, one Weather Warden and one The Revivalist) her novels seem to target young adults (not the youngest).

Her books are fun to read and full of murder, mayhem and entertainment. We get all sorts of magic and supernatural creatures. Some of these supernaturals are the baddest baddies while some fight on the side of light and justice for all. There is something a bit soap operaish about the books at times, but for the most part they manage to stay out of that trap. The ones that I have read are from: Weather Warden, The Morganville Vampires and The Revivalist.

THE MORGANVILLE VAMPIRES (2006 – 2013)

morganville

The Morganville Vampires books are supposed to be appropriate for age 13 and up. My library has fourteen of them while fifteen have been published thus far. According to the Morganville website no. 15 (Daylighters) is supposed to be the last one of the series (for now). I believe I have read through no. 10 (Bite Club).

The Morganville series begins with Glass Houses.While it is an advantage to begin reading with book no. 1 of the series, I would have had no trouble starting at any point as all of the novels have some sort of resolution to their plot. There are threads that leave you somewhat hanging but they are more of the kind that you will find in most series out there. So NOT a serial.

Claire Danvers is our main character through the series. There are others that get to shine along with her, but she is the one we always meet.

What can I say about Claire Danvers? Claire is a brilliant girl. Her IQ gets her into Texas Prarie University at the age of 16. Choosing TPU was a result of having to be closer to her parents. I can understand her parents wanting her to be a close as possible. Being the parent of two boys who have been that age, I probably would have let them go to the offered spot at MIT. Whether my choice would have been different had they been girls is impossible to predict.

So off Claire goes to Morganville. TPU is apparently a typical university town. In it she meets both ends of the spectrum of niceness. Claire gets bullied by the town diva, Monica Morell, and makes friends with the much nicer Eva Rosser. Her friendship with Eva Rosser and the bullying by Morell and her crowd is what brings about Claire’s move into what is known as Glass House.

Glass House belongs to Michael Glass. Michael lives in the house himself and he is hesitant about letting Claire live there. The other tenant, Shane Collins, also worries about having an under-age student living with them. The constellation two boys and two girls might have something to do with that. I found that rather charming and wise of the two guys. I also approved of the choice of letting Claire live with them, especially considering Monica’s influence at TPU. Monica does not have many endearing qualities.

Moving into Glass House brings the reality of Morganville crashing in on Claire. Living in Morganville can be detrimental to one’s health.


WEATHER WARDEN (2003-2010)

Weather warden

The Weather Warden series begins with Ill Wind and ends with Total Eclipse. According to various reviews and Ms. Caine’s own website the Weather warden is meant for an adult audience. I have only read no. 1 (Ill Wind). It is difficult for me to know exactly what differentiates a novel meant for adults or older young adults, so I am going to trust the author on this one. On the link above you can read samples from each of the novels.

Ill Wind introduces Joanne Baldwin a Weather Warden. A Weather Warden is a person who has the power to control one of the elements. In Joanne’s case that is the wind. She is not considered an especially gifted Warden. When we meet her she is on the run from the other Weather Wardens and the Weather Council. The Weather Council wields a lot of influence in society due to its nature. Together with the UN they decide when to and when not to intervene in natural disasters (having to do with wind, fire, water and earth). So, not an organization to have chasing you.

Joanne is, of course, innocent of all charges and that is what Ill Wind is about – proving her innocence and finding the real culprit.

As a mystery, Ill Wind worked for me.


THE REVIVALIST (2011 – …)

The Revivalist

Once again you get to read sample chapters of the novels. The Revivalist is a different kind of zombie novel. As with Weather Warden, I have only read the first of the series, Working Stiff. Like the other two series in this post, The Revivalist is an urban fantasy series. Our main character is Bryn Davies. She is about to change careers – from being in a military supply unit in war to being a funeral director. An unusual choice but work is work.

At first Fairview Mortuary seems like an average funeral home. But there is one huge problem. Her bosses are experimenting on the corpses. Not all of them, but enough for Bryn to discover that there is a problem. It turns out that they are using a drug to resurrect the dead. Bryn enlists the help of the FBI and joins the take-down. During the charge, poor old Bryn ends up being one of the dead. Having no say in the matter herself (being dead and all that) Bryn ends up being one of the resurrected. At this point her options in “life” pretty much become nil. She has to do what she is told or she will not get the daily injection needed for a healthy look.

Basically, Working Stiff is an urban fantasy mystery with a zombie twist.