Drake MOBI ↠ Ebook

  • ebook
  • 320 pages
  • Drake
  • Peter McLean
  • English
  • 10 October 2015
  • 9780857665126

10 thoughts on “Drake

  1. James Tivendale James Tivendale says:

    I received a free copy of Drake from the author in exchange for an honest review I would like to express my gratitude to Peter McLean and Angry Robot Books Don Drake is a London based alcoholic magician hitman This story starts as all narratives should with the first person protagonist playing this stories euivalent of poker whilst inebriated against a business owning notorious archdemon named Wormwood They are wagering magical artefacts Drake who is often down on his luck believes he has unbeatable cards Now the problem is that he doesn't have the money to call his opponents hand Wormwood being the archetypal or not nice guy demon says he will spot Drake the money and of course Drake agrees and loses He now is in a very powerful demons debt which means he must source Wormwood his murdering skills This is to carry out certain unsavoury roles including killing business rivals and other figures until the money owed is repaid via the assassinations This novel is set in a gritty and despondent London The veil between the city and the demon world is thin in certain places and sometimes abominable creatures lurk the foggy streets Now Drake lives in this area and has a deal with the local monstrosities that if he doesn't bother them then they will not cross him He is uite a powerful magician but the majority of his power comes from The Burned Man who is a chained and bound figment of a very powerful demon who he keeps at his house During rituals enchantments and with special ingredients lots of toads Drake can summon some of Hell's most notorious horrors to help with his assigned killings In trying to pay back his debt to Wormwood an unpredictable calamity happens in addition to this he later on saves a pretty lady from a dark presence in a London alleyway This is where things then get really interesting for our heroFirst off this was a book I needed to read It is uick witty noirish humorous and generally ticks a lot of boxes that I reuire when reading an urban fantasy novel The main character although respected and powerful is a bit of a bum He has an on off relationship with his teenage sweetheart although it's mostly off he drinks in a bar full of the damnedest criminals gets eaten by his pet demon occasionally and other trivialities I enjoyed the presentation and voice of Drake He's a character I really got inside the mind of A lot of the language used here is British and even cockney slang but the character often speaks to the reader He will ask us our opinions and explain certain phrases and London lingo that we might not naturally understand This was exciting all the way through and a breeze to read It is dark has some very adult scenes including torture and features some of Hell and myth's most notorious beings in a modern day environment It also features a 'slipped' angel who is an excellent character and Don's relationship with her may affect whether she falls or re enters Heaven Sometimes Don will go for a bacon breakfast and then get attacked by one of the Furies of Greek stories is just an example of the interesting and complex merging of ages and cultures that McLean easily and addictively presented here Sometimes urban fantasy books will have a weak middle or a distracting or unfulfilling ending but I can confidently say that there are no such issues here I read this in two days and I would have read it uicker if I had time This book acts as a complete standalone and the ending is ultimately intense exciting and excellent For anyone who likes urban fantasy I'm looking at you Emma this is a book that needs to be read This was designed to be a 5 book series and I want to make you aware that 3 books have been released and Damnation ends on a major cliffhanger Unfortunately McLean has advised me due to certain issues he may never get to complete the series His excellent and recently released Priest of Bones is well worth your time too My only real complaint is the blurb on the back cover which wasn't written by Peter gives away the whole spine of the plot One point that is mentioned on the back cover isn't actually revealed as what would have been a surprise until only 30 pages are remaining Although the blurb sounds good it is too spoiler worthy for me to class as good marketing All my experiences with McLean's books have been extremely positive and although I know this series is unlikely to be finished as the author would have of course wished I will still buy Domination this evening Recommend

  2. Mogsy (MMOGC) Mogsy (MMOGC) says:

    35 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum is a darkly humorous urban fantasy about the unfortunate misadventures of a hieromancer hitman named Don Drake though I must say labeling him a “hitman” is greatly simplifying the kind of work he does With the help of a nine inch tall animated idol representing the earthly form of a bound archdemon—which he calls “The Burned Man”—Drake is able to summon forth demonic creatures from hell to sic on his victims killing them without having to dirty his own physical hands Be that as it may Drake is still consumed with grief and guilt when his latest job goes awry resulting in the tragic death of an innocent child who was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time Traumatized and remorseful Drake makes the decision to leave his line of work behindHowever word of his horrible deed has gotten out and now Drake has a trio of vengeful Furies on his tail To make matters worse his former employer Wormwood turns out to be an archdemon himself and he most assuredly does not accept Drake’s resignation pulling our hapless protagonist back into the hitman game Drake’s only hope now lies with Trixie an angel with a uestionable history who has come to aid him in his time of need but can she be trusted?This is seriously a great story full of hairpin twists and turns While the plot could have used a bit of tightening up the speed at which it moved was a thrill and a delight What’s even better is that despite the modern atmosphere certain elements in Drake reminded me of the old style classic noir mysteries complete with femme fatales and over the top diabolical villains The dialogue is also freuently laugh out loud hilarious loaded up with profanity and British slang to great effect I’m sure I’ll have to thank my dad who spent his college years drinking and partying studying in London for being able to understand most of the BritishismsI won’t lie though I think I would have liked this if it weren’t for the protagonist I’m not one who usually has trouble accepting or even embracing unpleasant characters anti heroes flawed souls or any of those morally contentious types But when I found myself yelling “NO NO NO DON’T DO IT” at the audiobook every five minutes pretty much every time Drake does or says something stupid I had to admit to myself that maybe just maybe the main character and I have some issues to work outThing is Drake really isn’t a bad man but he does have this tendency to make some earth shatteringly dumb decisions and—to my great chagrin—not learn from his mistakes I can tolerate the occasional lapse in judgement but I can’t abide a fool There’s a scene in the book where the Burned Man is mercilessly laying into Drake for being a pathetic pitiful bastard as well as a sorry excuse for a human being and all I could think in my head in response was “ YeeeeahI kind of agree” Drake is for the most part a cowardly unambitious and weak willed magician who even admits as much being under no illusions when it comes to his powers–he knows he is nothing without the Burned Man Drake has good intentions making him slightly loveable but unfortunately he rarely sees his plans through preferring to always take the easy way out which was the root of most of my frustrations with his characterI have to say though the audiobook production of Drake is fabulous with narrator Mark Meadows nailing the voice and attitude of our protagonist I mentioned the excellent dialogue which is written the way it’s meant to be spoken and that might explain why it comes across so perfectly in the audio format Meadows’ accents and inflections are great so that all the characters come to life and become very real to me when he speaks their linesAll in all I had a good time with this book and given the promising way it ended I might just be willing to give Don Drake another shot in a seuel I love edgy and gritty urban fantasy and with so much potential in Drake it would be a damn shame to let my feelings for the character get in the way of enjoying especially after this outrageously entertaining first installment

  3. Kitvaria Sarene Kitvaria Sarene says:

    I was recommended this as a darker and grittier kind of Harry DresdenIt is and it isn't It doesn't feel like a copy of Dresden but it is a really entertaining fast paced and gritty urban fantasy The main character is not a hero in this one he gambles he's broke he drinks way than is good for any human and for a living he summons demons and kills people Oh and he also is uite used to using people And still you can't help but like him and cringe whenever he's followed by bad luck yet again The snarky humor and the action scenes make it a really fast read that can be devoured in one long go There's also a good cast of other characters and antagonists so it never got boring The females are a bit naive and I hope that'll get better in the next book but at least they still can kick ass like hell pardon the pun when neededThere's also uite some sex in it and who follows my reviews knows I despise sex scenes But in this book they were written in a way that didn't make me cringe and roll my eyes Huge kudos for managing to write those without any of the hot loins or hard manhoods pressed to someoneIf you like noir or grim urban fantasy this one is definitely worth a lookI for one already preordered the next book

  4. Gavin Gavin says:

    I'm not even sure what to say about Drake It is UF that combines the elements of old school noir crime and the modern day grimdark fantasy genre The bad news is it seems to concentrate on the worst aspects of both so the result is we get a fantasy world with all the sleaze and casual sexism of old school noir mixed with the modern day cringe fest that is the over the top prose and dialogue that is to be found in a lot of the modern grimdark style fantasy books The premise of the story was actually pretty fun Don Drake a magical assassin ends up in debt to a demonic mob boss and has to pay it off by working a hit for him Things go awry on what should have been relatively routine job and before he knows what is happening Don finds some scary supernatural creatures are looking for him to exact vengeance Lucky for Don he has a few aces up his sleeve in the form of an archdemon that is his familiar and a mysterious but totally hot new love interest so life is not all doom and gloomThe story should have been great In general I'm a fan cool antihero lead characters and fun fantasy worlds stuffed full of angels demons and other cool supernatural creatures so on this surface of things this was exactly my sort of story I also felt like Peter Mclean had a fairly engaging writing style and was a talented storyteller so that was not an issue I was not a giant fan of the London setting but I did find the supernatural aspects of Mclean's fantasy world to be pretty cool and interesting I tend to struggle with UK set UF in general due to it not feeling exotic enough for me and because I find a lot of the local accents and banter to be pretty awful and cringe inducing That issue is compounded in audio and sadly Don Drake did end up sounding a bit like a reject from Eastenders most of the time The biggest problem with this book by far was the antihero main character I got the impression that Peter Mclean thought he was a lovable rogue of a guy that readers should be rooting for The problem was I loathed Drake The guy was not only a sleazy thieving murdering sack of shit of a human being all bad enough in their own right but worst of all he was an unbearably whiny hypocrite who spent the majority of his internal monologues crying about how he was not really a bad guy and how the world was conspiring against him to make him a down on his luck victim I feel like McLean really made a mess of things with the lead character and that hurt the story bad If I'm going to have a single person POV story then I need the main character to either be someone I can root for or someone who has the pure charisma to keep me interested in their story even if they themself are a completely awful person As an example of likeable antiheros I'll mention Tyrion Lannister from GoT and Daniel Faust from the Daniel Faust series Those guys had a lot of flaws and did some awful things from time to time but despite that I still found them super easy characters to root for Don Drake was a complete flop when compared to those guys as he was so awful I was actively rooting against him Villain lead characters can still work for me but usually only do so when the author of the story actually realizes their lead is a villain Good examples of this are the POV characters from Bakker's Prince of Nothing trilogy Jorg from Mark Lawrence's Prince of Thorns and most of the cast of Michael Fletcher's Beyond Redemption Don Drake was a pitiful whiny wretch who had zero of the charisma and intrigue of any of those characters He was akin to Theon Greyjoy with his constant whining and eternal victim attitude A few careful tweaks and I think Don could have worked but as it was I found I was constantly hoping that someone would beat him to a pulp just to shut him upYou may think I'm being harsh on poor old Drunken Don but here are a few gems straight from the book itself to help you get a feel for the guy as a character and a few moments that give you a glimpse of the kind of moments that made and broke this story for me Minor spoilers ahoy I slowly hauled myself up into a sitting position and had to clutch a hand to my stomach as an acid rush of half digested whisky burned its way up my throat and into the back of my mouth I gave serious consideration to throwing up before I winced and swallowed it back down again Maybe I’ve never been that good at drinking either come to think of itThis was an early example of the cringey over the top grimdark prose that proliferated the book McLean felt the need to go hard in the early stages of the story on just how much Don loved to drink and gamble It was hammered home so often it felt over the top cringey as it made it seem like we were supposed to think this made Don super cool It left me feeling like he was a complete wastrel “I’m in the shit” I admittedThe Burned Man snorted with laughter “No change there then”Dialogue or general prose like this littered the story just so the reader could figure out poor Don was a very down on his luck sort of lad I find this so cringey as it comes across as trying too hard but this sort of thing is so common place in modern day grimdark fantasy that I assume most readers do think it makes a character gritty and cool? To each their own I suppose but it definitely does not work for me and leaves me feeling a bit like the book I'm reading is actually a bad parody of the real dark fantasy genre I stopped to lock the door behind me and noticed that some twat had scratched “drunken” in front of the “wanker” underneath my sign Someone must have seen me come home last night thenThis moment actually was mildly amusing but did still hammer home the trying too hard vibe that story had “You should have thought of that the last time you stood me up to go and play cards or because you were drunk or out with some tart or whatever the hell you were doing” she muttered putting the pestle down to fiddle with some of her glass tubes“I’m sorry Debs” I said “Really And I’m in deep shit if you don’t help me”Don shopped for his magical trinkets at his onoff girlfriends store Unfortunately he treated her like absolute shit over the story so it ended up being super depressing that she just kept giving him chance after chance only for him to do it over and over again It was also made clear by McLean that Debs was not the real love interest of the story as she was simply just not as hot or cool as the other love interests “I want another beer” I said a touch belligerentlyNow Shirl is lovely she really is but in her pub she’s the absolute monarch make no mistake about it She’s sixty if she’s a day and she’s still saucy looking in a brassy sort of way but one thing she does not take is crap off drunksDon was incredibly sleazy but he was no ageist Honestly I think there was misogyny and sleaze in this 8 hour audiobook than there was in three books worth of my last harem fantasy LitRPG series Don was extremely sleazy and objectified every single woman that came across his path “If you say so” she said and got out of bed There was no mistaking her tone that timeWas I that bad a shag really? Damn it I thought it had been pretty good all things considered “Can I get your number?” I asked her By that point I have to admit it was out of habit than hope“No” she saidThis was Don flopping in the sack for love interest number 2 We were supposed to feel sorry for him here since the woman was treating him so badly One can only assume we were supposed to overlook the fact that Don felt so guilty about committing an absolutely heinous crime just hours earlier that he spend the rest of the evening boozing and fucking We were never supposed to forget that Don was the stereotypical Eternal Victim of the tale My first thought was succubus but she was way too classy for that Succubi tend towards streetwalker chic at the best of times and this Trixie looked like a princess than a prostituteAnother typical glimpse into the mind of Don The guy and possibly McLean himself had some seriously disturbing views on women and life in general To put things into perspective I found the views of McLean's lead character disturbing over a paltry 8 hour audio book than I did to anything I heard while listening to nearly 130 hours of Goodkind's views in Sword of Truth or listening to 35 hours of a straight up male wish fulfilment harem fantasy LitRPG trilogy that I read right before picking up this book “Who was that cracking bint?” it asked me“Er” I said feeling ridiculously embarrassed “Which one?”Yeahit was that sort of book Don is an average sort of rogue of course but still had two love interests and a hot kinky red head he fucked from time to time so it is no surprise really that he had no idea who his demonic pet was talking about here Keep in mind it was saying this as it was sucking blood from Don's chest in some kinky sadomasochistic feeding ritual so I'm tempted to include it as a twisted love interest in its own right “Trixie?” Debbie echoed “Stupid name What does she look like this frightening Trixie?”Gorgeous I thought but I knew that wouldn’t be a clever thing to say Captivating Otherworldly So special I can hardly think about anything else and that’s the most frightening part No that really wouldn’t do either “Blonde” I said at lastJust in case we needed the reminder that poor Doormat Debs was never going to live up to the main love interest in the story “It’s an it not a he” I said “and we get along just fine”There was always time to sueeze in a tiny bit of casual racism or homophobia into the story The Burned Man was a demon and he seemed enough like a he earlier in the story when he was fondling his dick while admiring the ass of love interest number 3 Oh no I thought Oh fates you can’t be this cruelYeah yeah they could“Don baby” she suealed “Don I’ve been looking for you everywhere”It was Ally obviously All of Ally just about spilling out of the littlest little black dress I think I’d ever seen The look on Debbie’s face could have frozen a volcano mid eruptionThings only went south from there for poor Doormat Debs as Drake ditched her mid dinner date so he could go fuck Ally He was a real charmer It was so sad that Debs just forgave him no matter how bad he treated her She very much came across as an abused spouse even if most of Drake's abuse was mental rather than physical Remember we are supposed to be rooting for Drake in this tale I was starting to wonder if she was ever going to take her knickers off actually but that’s not really the kind of thing you can say out loud on a second dateThis was a bit of a weird moment for the story Out of context this sounds like a typical sleazy thought from the mind of Don Drake but in reality the dude was tied naked to his bed at the time while the woman in uestion was straddling him writhing all over the place biting his nipples gouging his chest bloody with her nails slapping the shit out of him and just generally having the time of her life Maybe I'm just completely lacking in manners and proper date etiuette but I'd not have judged the guy poorly for asking her to get rid of the knickers at this stage of proceedings I'm not sure what happened to him here but this was definitely the moment when I started to enjoy the book a whole lot That is because I started treating it like a comedy rather than a dark fantasy I'm not sure that was McLean's intent but it definitely helped me enjoy the happenings a whole lot “You’ve been a bad boy haven’t you Don” she said “A very bad boy indeed”“I fucking mean it” I said twisting against the knots that held me “I don’t want to do this Ally Seriously I don’t”That was the end of the last private on parade let me tell you He was asleep on duty in double uick time“Oh you spoilsport” Ally said “You rotten spoilsport I was really hoping to give that a good lick of the whip”This moment was comedy gold Ally was instantly my favourite of Don's developing harem of women The book was actually riddled with these sorts of sadomasochistic moments which is half the reason Peter McLean occasionally reminded me of Terry Goodkind lol “What was your curry like?” I asked as I set to with the pestle and mortar“Lonely” she saidOh for fuck’s sake“Look I’m sorry OK?” I saidThis was charming Drake's apology for leaving Debs mid dinner date to go fuck someone else She forgave him of course then he stole a bunch of stuff from her house and did a runner We were supposed to feel sorry for Drake though as he was the real victim in all this After everything I’d said to her and all the promises I had made She was never going to speak to me again and that was that“Damn you Wormwood” I whisperedYeah because it is Wormwood's fault Drake repeatedly treated Debs like absolute shit For the record I'm not sure Wormwood even knew Debs existed The curse of the Eternal Victim struck again You get off on this don’t you? the wraith thought Have you ever summoned a succubus just to fuck her? I bet you have You’re that sort aren’t you? You’re all about the control you can’t get any other wayShut up I told itYou have haven’t you? I thought soThis unnamed demon slave is was my favourite character in the whole story He just had a cameo appearance but he really got Don as a character Pity he never stuck around as Don's long term slave The good news is I have another uote from the guy Next time you want a succubus you could summon her and me together and wear me to fuck her in have you ever thought of that? I’m sure you must have thought of doing that you oily little pervert Or isn’t that enough? Why not wear a vorehound that’s got a cock too Even a succubus probably wouldn’t like that much You’d prefer it that way wouldn’t you? If she really didn’t like it Raping her wearing a houndWill you shut the fuck up I snarled at itWhy should I? You’re raping me right now It’s no different You’re inside me using me and I never said you could It’s the same thing Do you like that? I think you doNameless Tallow Demon slave really was great It was the only one not shy about telling Don what an absolute piece of shit he was Everything it said was spot on “Did she maybe sneak this onto there?”“I haven’t got a clue” it confessed “I you know wasn’t paying that much attention”You were looking at her arse not her hands I thought but I could hardly blame it in all honestyMore sleaze This sort of moment was typical for this book The modern day grim cringe fantasy genre is so awful What happened to the editors at the big publishing houses to make stuff like this the new normal? “That poor child” said Meg“That was an accident” I protested wondering how in the world they could possibly know about that “I’m sorry”“He’s sorry” Tess said in a low flat voiceAlly pouted “He was so sorry he got blind drunk took me home and fucked me” she said “That’s how sorry he was”I cannot believe Ally was portrayed as the villain I liked her way better than I liked Drake and she was spot on in her assessment of Don I'd read an Ally lead spin off series for sure “Oh fuck me” I whimpered“Oh no sweetie I don’t think so” she said “Not again You’re really not that good”The whip lashed down my back in a searing flash of pain I shrieked I know I’m not proud of it but for fuck’s sake have you ever been bullwhipped? I have slammed a lot of the cringey prose and dialogue but to be fair it really worked a lot better once I started treating the book as a laugh out loud comedy “Please” I screamed“Please he says” Tess said “Please don’t hurt me Please don’t kill any children Please Don please”“Please us” Meg snarled“Please me” Ally chuckledThe whip hit me again and I screamed until my throat was raw“I’m bored I’m going to get my knives out of the van” Tess said “Back in a tick”“No” I sobbed “No knives”I was going to tank this book in the ratings but decided not to after the whole abductiontorture scene It was just too funny She yanked me up by the hair and kicked me in the kidneys so hard I actually pissed myself a bit“You dirty boy” Ally laughed and cracked her whip so close to my head that she sliced my right ear openSee what I mean? By this point I was laughing so hard I literally nearly chocked Whole scene even changed my view on Mark Meadows the audio narrator for the story Up to this point I felt like he sounded a bit like a reject from the cast of Eastenders but his spot on performance of this scene was comedy gold and really won me over He might have had an awful sounding accent but he was a fairly talented audio performer who got the timing and tone of the delivery of the dialogue spot on Note I've been hit by Goodreads word count for reviews so I'm having to cut my on the go journey through this book a bit short The absolute outrage of it all I've got a bunch uotes like this so I'm stuffing them in the comments Take that word count All in all I'm not even sure how to rate this book I really hated a lot of aspects of it and nearly DNF'ed it in the early stages due to the cringey nature of a lot of the stuff that was happening but I pushed through and did end up warming a bit to the book though I still fucking loathed Drake as a lead character so I'm definitely not going to give this the 1 star rating I thought it was heading for in the first 25% of the book Once I started viewing it as a comedy it got a lot enjoyable I'm still not sure this was meant to be a parody but thinking of it as such helped make it a lot fun for me Ally and Tallow Demon alone boosted this book and star or two in the final rating I was unhappy with a lot of stuff in Drake but I might still read the next book in the series as I do feel like I enjoyed this story as it progressed and despite its horrific flaws it did still hold some promise McLean is an engaging storyteller and his fantasy world was pretty cool despite its cringey London setting Rating 25 stars I'm rounding up to 3 stars as it finished a whole lot better than it started The writing was pretty good and some elements of the story were great but the sheer level of cringe inducing moments I had to suffer as well as McLean botching the lead character definitely hurt this story bad The sad thing is that with a few tweaks here and there this could probably have been a 5 star read The good stuff was really good but that was balanced out by the fact that the bad stuff was really cringe inducing awful It has been a long time since I've come across a book that was such a mix of extremes as this one Audio Note I took a while to warm to Mark Meadows as he sounded a bit like a reject from the cast of Eastenders but to be fair to him that was fitting for the character of Drake and as the story progressed I grew to appreciate his ability to bring the tale to life and his timing and delivery of the dialogue

  5. Eon ♒Windrunner♒ Eon ♒Windrunner♒ says:

    Well that was interestingDrake is pretty much an alcoholic british version of Harry Dresden but with less smarts and less likableness I still enjoyed the story but not enough that I feel excited about the next book at all cuts ties Fare thee well

  6. RG RG says:

    Solid urban fantasy without amazing me too much Drake was a decent character but didnt do much for me than Dresden did I really enjoy Urban fantasy alot but this didnt seem to excite me all that much Definitely has potential The burned man was very funny but I found his jokes a little repetitive after awhile Good villains and decent magical world Flawed main character but nothing overly exciting about him either

  7. Paul Paul says:

    Magic is a tricky beast what with all the subtle intricacies and specifics that have to be just so It’s hardly a surprise then that the powers the magic can offer are open to a certain amount of abuse For every good miraculous thing that can come from magic there is an evil violent opposite The key lesson? Practitioners of the arcane arts needs to be wary what goes around comes around Don Drake the magically imbued hitman is going to learn that the hard way He is about to have what can at best be described as “an exceptionally bad week”Hmmm how best to describe our titular hero? Let’s see try to imagine a sleazier London based version of Harry Dresden with a borderline drinking problem and issues with gambling and you’ll be thinking along the right lines I do so love a flawed character always much interesting to follow and Drake falls suarely into that category He isn’t deliberately evil he just has an uncanny knack for making the polar opposite of a sensible decision Situations have a habit of blowing up in his face and things tend to end up being extremely violent and than a little bit bloody I found myself flip flopping between considering Drake a complete scumbag or a well intentioned but epically thoughtless idiot Like most of us Drake isn’t entirely good or entirely bad he lives on a sliding scale doing his fair share of bothThe grotty backstreets of London act as the perfect backdrop to Drake’s somewhat dingy existence Greasy spoons dark alleyways and dodgy pubs are the order of the day Makes perfect sense; your average demon is always going to be drawn to the seedy underbelly of a city One such being is Wormwood an arch demon of Hell and a constant thorn in Drake’s side McLean sets Wormwood up as a gang bossclub owner who delights in tormenting our erstwhile hero I love the idea that nightclubs and pubs exist that cater for to the supernatural element in a cityWhen Trixie arrives in Drake’s life things get infinitely complicated He is suddenly thrust into the midst of an age old battle between forces he’s not sure he can even comprehend The good news however is that Trixie is no slouch uite the reverse She is a hard as nails ass kicking action heroine who might just be the only one who cares if Drake survives or notThe final character of note is the Burned Man He is a filthy little foul mouthed thing who offers Drake magical assistance albeit in a begrudging fashion There are some splendid chapters that offer a little insight into how the two actually met one another Their relationship is an interesting one In some respects they are both in thrall to one another The constantly shifting dynamic between the two is great funI suppose I should offer a small word of warning Those amongst you who prefer the genteel PG friendly urban fantasy that exists elsewhere probably want to give this a miss McLean’s vision of London is a city of violence substance abuse and foul language Personally I loved it all I’m all for demons embracing their demonic side and if that means them ripping off someone’s arm and then smacking them with the wet end then so be itIn many respects this novel acts as the perfect introduction to Drake and his messed up world The books ends with a handful of tantalizing uestions still left unanswered Will Don ever get the opportunity to properly redeem himself? What exactly is the Burned Man scheming in the long term? Just how long can a demonologist with a snarky attitude survive without major injury? I look forward to finding out the answer to these uestions and in the future

  8. Marielle Marielle says:

    At first I didn't like Don at all but I grew fond of him throughout the book The story starts where everything just goes terribly wrong for Don hitting lower than lowThe book has a dark and gritty feel to it which truly entertained me throughout the story I liked the second half of the book better where the pace picked up and I grew fond of Don I very much enjoyed experiencing everything through the eyes and thoughts of Don which are explicit and brutally honest That's how you realise he not all that badThe comparison to Harry Dresden it easily made but I still felt this book brought something new and different and it certainly makes me want to pick up Dominion the second book as well

  9. Lynn Williams Lynn Williams says:

    of 4 starsDrake is a new urban fantasy written by Peter McLean and set in a gritty London underground where gambling and gangsters demons and other ancient creatures stalk the shadowsDon Drake is essentially a hitman he calls himself a ‘Hieromancer’ but basically in his own words he ‘summons and sends’ demons and other nasties to do the dirty work he’s been contracted to do by the local mob He has a little helper a rather repugnant and vile mouthed creature called the Burned Man The Burned Man is in actual fact an archdemon who has been imprisoned many years ago and is now represented on earth by a small effigy of a burnt man chained to an altar Of course the actual demon really resides in Hell but having been captured and bound in this form he is compelled to serve his owner and his power is really uite vastThe story gets off to a fairly rapid start and we are introduced to Don just as he hits an all time low losing at cards to Wormwood the seedy not to mention other worldly owner of a gambling den Losing at cards of course means Don is now in Wormwood’s debt and the interest is high and rising daily His first job to take out two rival gangster types goes horribly wrong however and in the process a young innocent is also murdered This of course leads to a whole new problem Enter the stage the Furies – the three women of Greek Myth renowned for seeking justice and vengeance Now we have a different kettle of fish as the Furies stalk Don and something else seems to stalk themIn terms of characters – well frankly Don is a bit of a drunken cowardly sort really or at least that’s how he starts off He has a modicum of talent when it comes to his magical ability but he freuently finds solace in the bottom of a bottle he cheats lies and steals from his girlfriend and on top of this he uses demons to kill people – albeit that most of his ‘hits’ are unsavoury types and the world is probably a better place without them in it In spite of this you do end up feeling for him He spends a good deal of the book being beaten to a pulp or kicked to the pavement He seems to make no end of idiotic choices and you can’t help slapping your head in frustration with him occasionally At the same time you have to realise that he’s dealing with characters that are not human – and some of them will and do mess with his headThe other key characters are Trixie – who I won’t go into detail about but she’s a character that I really did like The Furies – who are very aptly named and bring such a lot of wicked anger to the scene Debbie Don’s onoff girlfriend who is also an alchemist who comes up with the vital ingredients needed to summon the potty mouthed Burned Man and another dark and sophisticated stranger who also joins the frayThe world building This is definitely the seedy side to London Dark rough and a natural draw not just to criminals but to demons and other sorts It’s very easy to imagine with dark alleys and glamoured buildings and you read along sure in the knowledge that something nasty is lurking and waiting to pounceThe plot is intriguing and the pace is fast There is plenty of action in fact frankly never a dull momentIn terms of criticisms I don’t really have any criticisms to be honest although I feel that I should reinforce that there is plenty of violence sex and profanity thrown in here so be warned of that I wouldn’t say it was gratuitous just blunt realism really Also I must say that the book being set in London is very ‘British’ – which you might expect and certainly didn’t create a problem for me personally but some of the ‘speak’ may give people not familiar with the terms and slang used pause for thought – although I think this becomes less noticeable as the book proceedsI thought this was a very entertaining start to series It’s a bit near the knuckle in parts and the author isn’t shy about sharing ALL of Don’s thoughts with the reader which can be a little disconcerting sometimes but it pretty much kept me glued to the page and was a very uick read It has an almost noir detective type feel but with demons fallen angels and Hellhounds running amok On top of this the story concludes with a perfect set up for what promises to be a very good second book in seriesDo we really need another urban fantasy? Of course we do provided it brings something new to the table and I think McLean manages to do just thatI received a copy of Drake through Netgalley courtesy of the publishers for which my thanks The above is my own opinionThis review first appeared here on the Speculative Herald

  10. Sachin Dev Sachin Dev says:

    A really really well written debut gripping urban fantasy at it's finest An intriguing tale of black magic and the price one pays for the same an unforgettable anti hero Don Drake whose sniveling cowardly behavior combined with a warped sense of righteousness gentleman liness leads him into all sorts of trouble As promised detailed review Angry Robot holds the open door submission almost every year towards the fag end And from the slush pile some genuine gems emerge – who go onto acclaimed fame Having roughed out in the open and then made it through sheer luck oodles of talent topped off by unending hard work Wesley Chu comes to mind The Tao series is an underappreciated gem of a series that should win some awards Time Salvager his latest is a time travel science fiction thriller that is doing pretty well nowSo Peter Mclean is another such findDrake is a fiendishly explosive hell ride with tricky demons fallen angels the Devil Himself for company set in the shadowy dark lanes of a London we don’t know at all His first book Drake Burned Man Book One – is an unapologetic mashup of urban fantasy and gritty noire set in a dark grimy London featuring a washed out fully functional alcoholic who uses an ancient demon in the form of a wooden relic as a medium to summon spirits from the otherworld to perform “hits” for his clients Boiling it right down to the gristle Don is a hitman who uses demons to kill for his clients and makes money to make ends meetDon Drake the eponymous hero is obviously not a pleasant man to hang around with He’s got vices hard to cure A love for the bottle and an itch to gamble that tends to get too costly for his own good He owes the biggest badass gangsters debts – that needs to be repaid in blood And to wash this off Don unwittingly commits a crime – killing folks who were in the protection of the Greek Furies Things turn pretty complicated as Don a broken soul who cannot keep a decent girlfriend for long – becomes the target of two lovely women Who soon turn things ugly for him And in the literal true sense of that word His world is flung upside down as he realizes he has upset the balance of nature and rained down the wrath of spirits on himself that he isn’t really trained to combat But falling back on an ancient arch demon spirit trapped inside a wooden relic known only as the Burned Man Don has than just the odd trick up his sleevePeter’s writing is refreshing as it hits you pretty straight up between your eyes Don’s character is flawed to a fault and inspite of his drunken broken behaviour there is something redeemable about him that endears him to us readers The female characters Trixie and Ally are pretty complex creatures with unplumbed depths that Don slowly falls into There is humor the black kinds that is interspersed with the darkish atmosphere to the book that never truly lifts off The shadowy London with hole in the wall drinking establishments greasy restaurants and foggy nights rife with creatures that go bump in the dark is pretty nicely fleshed out Peter never really takes the foot off the pedal and the pacing is headlong rushed up and brutalI really liked this dark debut from this highly talented find from the stables of Angry Robot Peter McLean makes an emphatic statement of things to come in the future with this first instalment of the Burned Man series And I cannot wait to see where he drives this one to setting things up nicely for the next books in the series 

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Drake❰PDF / Epub❯ ☄ Drake Author Peter McLean – Thomashillier.co.uk Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon Forced to carry out one assassination to clear his debt Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himselfRe Hitman Don Drake owes a gambling debt to a demon Forced to carry out one assassination to clear his debt Don unwittingly kills an innocent child and brings the Furies of Greek myth down upon himselfRescued by an almost fallen angel called Trixie Don and his magical accomplice The Burned Man an imprisoned archdemon are forced to deal with Lucifer himself whilst battling a powerful evil magicianNow Don must foil Lucifer’s plan to complete Trixie’s fall and save her soul whilst preventing the Burned Man from breaking free from captivity and wreaking havoc on the entire world.

About the Author: Peter McLean

Peter McLean was born near London in the son of a bank manager and an English teacher He went to school in the shadow of Norwich Cathedral where he spent most of his time making up storiesHe has since grown up a bit if not a lot and spent years working in corporate IT He is married to Diane and is still making up storiesHe is the author of the War for the Rose Throne series beginni.