“It’s not about who’s got powers, morons. It’s about who’s not afraid. And who’s going to do what needs to be done.”
—Drake Merwin, Gone
The whole Gone series by Michael Grant goes down as one of my favourite book series of all time. It’s a great read for those looking into the field of psychology, since Grant decided he was going to add in on average 10 new characters per book (there’s six in the series by the way). He taps into so many different mental disorders and family dynamics it’s insane.
Drake Merwin went as my favourite character for a very long time, until the last book (Light) came out, in which Caine Soren took that place at the top. I’ll admit, maybe it’s a Taurus trait for me to like the bad boys…
And this kid is a really, really bad boy.
Drake is the psychopath of the books. He’s insane, has no remorse for anything he does (whether he kills, tortures, betrays, etc.), and takes no sides. Ignore the fact that he takes the Darkness’ side, but if the Darkness didn’t have the power of pain and suffering that it showed Drake, he definitely would not be on its side. So other than that, he is a complete wild card.
Why do I explain his character so much here?
Well, he’s quite the different kind of villain.
When we think of major villains, we think of deception; cleverness; intellect; then in some ways, cowardice.
We don’t really get that from Drake.
Sure he’s deceptive, I guess, if you look at one street. But we can read that it’s obvious that he’s on no one’s side. Maybe he’s Caine’s best friend… how unfortunate. Because we know, and Caine knows, that if Caine did not have the power of telekinesis he would have been the first to die. It is painfully obvious for everyone (characters and readers included) that if he makes an alliance with someone, it is for his own gain.
Cleverness, intellect… he’s definitely not all that smart. Book smart, anyway. Perhaps when it comes to killing people he can be pretty brilliant (sometimes). But in general, no, not really.
And then cowardice. I can’t ever imagine Drake using something as cowardly as poison to kill someone. This is where this quote comes from: “It’s about who’s not afraid.” Drake will jump right into the fray of things if he could, as he absolutely does not trust anyone else to get the job done.
And he does not give a single fuck if it’s dangerous. He lives by clichés like “fear is for the weak” blah blah blah.
Personally, it’s not entirely because Drake is insane that I loved his character, but because he is one of the new, fresh starts to villains. He works alone, and is not afraid to let everyone else know that he is a psychopath. Sure we could look at characters like Tai Lung from Kung Fu Panda in terms of characters who work solo and aren’t afraid to fight. I guess in a sense, he isn’t entirely an outlier.
And yet, Drake is one of the only major villains I know who will still run head first into a battlefield with only a pistol and mortal flesh (later a red “Whip Hand”), while still knowing that everyone else in the playing field has some kind of supernatural power. I dunno about you, but that sounds pretty badass to me.