Title: Sarge (F.I.S.T.S.: Book One)
Author: Bey Deckard
Pages/Word Count: 49 Pages
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Sometimes it’s just about being in the right place at the right time… with the right person.
Sarge is the short story of a burgeoning D/s relationship between two space marines stationed on an alien planet where an endless war drags on.
Sergeant Wilkes is a hard man with a long, celebrated military career.
Brawny, tattooed, and utterly submissive, Murphy is just an interesting diversion… until Sarge realises he has found something truly rare.
Review: After the back-to-back epics that are Caged and Sacrificed, Bey Deckard has taken a bit of a departure from both pirates and full-length novels with Sarge, a sci-fi novella set on a war-torn planet where to kill or to be killed is the underscore of each day for the men and women fighting a war not of their own making.
It would be easy to enumerate the ways in which this latest offering from Mr. Deckard differs from his Baal’s Heart series, not the least of which is that this story is futuristic while Baal’s Heart is set in a distant past. How they resemble each other, though, is twofold: first, there’s the fantasy aspect—this story being told from a time and place that is at once nondescript yet is an easily imagined setting, this time not the vastness of the world’s oceans but the immensity of outer space, and the barren and rugged landscape of a far off planet. Second is this story’s heroes, Sarge and Murphy, who, from page one, grab the reader’s attention when the harsh and unforgiving reality of their circumstances becomes evident thanks to the author’s vivid description of the action, the two men immersed in the thick of battlefield danger. These men are every bit as enigmatic and charismatic as their fictional pirate counterparts, though in different ways, and I was invested in their story right from the outset.
Though their ages are never specified, there’s a hint of May/December to Sarge and Murphy’s relationship, which fits both their commander and subordinate military roles, as well as the Dominant and submissive roles they practice in private. Sarge is the epitome of the career military man—authoritative, hard-edged and fierce; while Murphy is a dichotomy—physically imposing but gentle and obedient, judged dull-witted by his peers based upon his appearance alone. These two men together are a Yin/Yang that is not only believable but theirs is a relationship that’s both a complement and a contrast to their circumstances—severe one moment, poignant the next, and the telling of the story from their alternating points-of-view was the perfect delivery, both intimate and revealing. They jump headlong into the fray of battle and sex, and the tension, suspense and intensity played well against the other.
Bey Deckard reveals a bit of a wicked streak with Sarge, as it’s little more than a tease for those of us who’ve added him to our must-read-authors lists. The story doesn’t leave us with what I’d call a cliffhanger but is most definitely a to-be-continued. There’s a lot of unexplored territory yet to be covered and discovered, feelings only hinted at and yet quite a lot happens to keep the reader on the hook, wanting more than was given in this short book. I, for one, can’t wait for the next installment, as Sarge and Murphy have done nothing but leave me curiouser and curiouser about how, not to mention where, their relationship will evolve.
You can buy Sarge (F.I.S.T.S.: Book One) here: