Title: First Watch
Author: Peter Hansen
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Characters: Edouard and Farid
POV: 3rd Person
Do you want to live? In the darkness of a WWI battlefield, young Legionnaire Edouard Montreuil lies dying. As teeth nibble his flesh, a voice whispers, Do you want to live? Frightened and desperate, Edouard bargains his freedom for a second chance.
Aboard the Flèche, a grim submarine captained by the nightmare who granted Edouard new life, Edouard pays the price for his survival. Each night, he gives his body to his captain as the bells sound first watch. But surviving is not living, and as the days stretch into months beneath the waves, Edouard grows desperate for escape.
Can Edouard’s old comrade Farid Ruiz help him break this devil’s bargain, or will Ruiz fall to the same fate, trapped beneath the waves at the mercy of a monster whose hunger knows no bounds? Edouard and Ruiz served together once before, and slept together too, but courage and passion failed to save them from the eldritch beasts who roamed the night. This time, the cost of failure is nothing so clean or simple as death and the spoils of victory are not just life, but love.
Edouard is a soldier aboard a submarine who needs to be rescued from his fate in life. He is lonely, tired and ashamed with his lot in life. During WWI Edouard, on the brink of death, makes a deal with a monster to avoid dying. Now he wishes he was dead. He desperately writes to his old comrade and former lover for help.
Farid finally shows up to rescue his old friend. He will do whatever is necessary, even if it means joining the crew of the submarine, to save Edouard from the captain. After a failed assassination attempt Farid is taken captive by the 3rd mate it leaving Edouard to do the saving.
Edouard, armed with a name of an old colleague of Farid, plots to save his friend and destroy the captain, so both men can be release from their torture. His biggest concern now is how to get the crew off the submarine so he can attempt to save Farid and kill the captain at the same time.
First Watch is suspenseful and full of intrigue. The dark atmosphere of the story left me with a sense of dread, so much so, that I was uncertain if the character would be successful in escaping. To me these are the stories that capture and keep my attention the most. Way to go Peter, as this story was wonderful.
Reviewed By: Vonda