Book Series: Transcendence #1
Published by: Shay Savage LLC
Genres: Historical Romance, Pre-Historical Romance, Science Fiction/ Futuristic Romance, Time Travel Romance
Format: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback
Buy on: Amazon, ThriftBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader
We’re Reviewing a “Modern” Romance for Opposite Day
[NOTE: This “Opposite Day” review was intended to post yesterday. Unfortunately, personal responsibilities came first, and my plans for the day fell apart. I had originally intended to post four articles related to this topic. I still might publish them, as Opposite Day is an upside-down, inside-out, topsy-turvy occasion. — J. Diaz, 1.26.2023]
It’s Opposite Day today, January 25, 2023. So instead of a review for an old-school retro romance novel, we’re discussing something more modern: a caveman romance.
Okay, sure, the following book was published eight years ago. It’s not the hottest new read. Still, this is one of our favorite love-stories from the last 23 years. As far as we old dinosaurs at Sweet Savage Flame are concerned, it’s modern! (The date of publication is, anyway. The setting for this romance is the Paleolithic Stone Age.)
TOTAL SPOILER ALERT ⚠
The plot is not complex. This is a romance novel about a time-traveling teen girl who finds love thousands of years in the past with a caveman who acts like her protective puppy dog.
I have never read any of Stephenie Meyer‘s Twilight books nor have I seen the films. I’ve never desired to, although I did read a sample chapter long ago. Even so, I know more about the series than I care to.
If the names of the main characters weren’t Ehd (Edward) and Beh (Bella), I never would have caught on. Other than the hair colors and the fact that the hero is *OMG* so possessive, I don’t see any similarity between the two romances. There are no feuding groups, love triangles, baseball games, or battles.
It’s a primal story of a brutal, natural world, a lonely man, a frightened woman, and their enduring love for one another.
Transcendence is told from the first-person perspective of a prehistoric young male named Ehd. His family is dead, so he lives alone, surviving through his strength and hunting skills. Interesting to note that Ehd lacks the ability to speak, but he can think and reason.
One day Ehd comes upon a beautiful young female who, for no apparent reason, seems terrified, She produces a lot of loud, shrieky noises with her mouth.
This frightened woman strikes a “primitive” chord in this primitive male, and he wants to protect her. Even more, he desires to pair-bond with her.
Ehd calls the woman Beh. Over time, they learn to communicate with one another using a fusion of body language, facial expressions, and sound. Beh astonishes Ehd with her capabilities. She can create fire and build structures his mind could never have conceived. Ehd recognizes how valuable this astounding female’s worth is.
Ehd had been so lonely, with no clan to help him survive the cold nights, he had almost starved to death. Beh alone was more capable than a good-sized clan! With her skills and knowledge, and Ehd to protect and provide, they could create a clan of their own.
Ehd’s sole purpose is to please Beh, to keep her safe, and hopefully mate with her so he can put his baby inside her.
The reader’s perspective is limited to what Ehd experiences. Since the reader–presumably–has a higher IQ than Ehd and should be familiar with aspects of living in the present world, it’s evident that Beh is no cavewoman. She is a girl from the 21st century who accidentally finds herself catapulted back to the dawn of humanity, somewhere in the mid-to-late Paleolithic Era.
How could that happen?
80% of the book is just Beh and Ehd alone, dealing with the severe environment.
There’s almost zero spoken dialogue throughout, except for a few grunted words. (Which melted my heart!)
Transcendence is a simple, bare-bones love story between a young, frightened girl and a young, frightened male trying to survive in a heartless world. Together.
My First Impressions
I loved this book! I can’t believe the intensity this made me feel. Sure enough, I cried like a baby reading it. Must have been my time of the month. (If that comment offends you, you are on the wrong site).
Transcendence is a remarkably straightforward and increasingly repetitive story. I’m not knocking its simplicity, as I adored this romance. To be frank, however, it was written on a sixth-grade reading level. The terms baby, mate, or put a baby in my mate show up on every other page!
Transcendence was quite basic and crude, with a minimal plot, but it had its charms! I suppose it appealed to my inner 12-year-old, a being I did not know was still in existence.
More likely, it shares a startling similarity with the film I consider to be the most romantic ever (with a happy ending): “Quest for Fire.”
In a caveman romance, it makes sense that the hero is all:
“You, my woman. I, your man. We are mated. I protect you. I throw you over my shoulder. We make many babies.”—Some Book Blogger Paraphrasing Grunts into Words
That attitude doesn’t work for me in contemporary romance or most other genres. But here in the Stone Age, it works; it makes sense.
About the Unique Hero
I’ve seen many readers label Ehd an Alpha male, but he came off as totally Beta to me. Maybe my definition of an Alpha male isn’t jiving with the accepted definition of the word.
He was a caveman, yes, but an eager-to-please, genuinely nice one. Alphas are independent males who, through their strength, vitality, or charisma, convince other men to follow them to their deaths. They can seduce women and make them hyper-ovulate with just a steely glint in their sensual eyes.
Ehd wasn’t independent at all. The loyal guy he was, he wanted nothing more than to be with Beh, forever by her side.
Ehd was constantly thinking:
“I want protect mate. I never let mate out of sight. I growl at all who comes near mate.
“My penis is hard.”—Still that book Blogger Lady
He reminded me of my dearly loved and long-departed American Eskimo dog. He was poofy, insanely loyal, hated being alone, loved to cuddle, barked at all strangers, and had constant erections when he was happy.
Some readers have assumed that Ehd is a Neanderthal, with a sloping forehead and a mouth full of huge teeth. But in her introduction to her book, Shay Savage states he is part of the early “Homo-Sapien” species. It’s just that he lacks the ability to speak. Artistic license and all that.
So rather than looking like this:
Ehd looks more like this:
Final Analysis of Transcendence
Shay Savage’s Transcendence was a unique experience, told from a rare (for me, anyway) male 1st-person-POV. This worked on adding a sense of confusion to the story.
A young girl is propelled back in time, and we, the readers, must put the pieces together to figure out what’s going on.
As much as I loved this caveman romance, I hope there is no sequel or one of those alternate POV sequels. (Ugg. There is).
The story finishes rather definitively. There are some hanging questions, but the ending was an ending for me. It was both a bittersweet and happy ending. One of the best endings I’ve read in a long time.
What can I say? Sometimes a story appeals beyond all rationalization and reason.
I loved Transcendence.
“ehd luffs beh”-ACTUAL QUOTE FROM TRANSCENDENCE BY SHAY SAVAGE
SPOILER ALERT ⚠
Do NOT Read This Unless You Really, Truly Want To
The ending: after many years together, producing many children and grandchildren, Beh dies of old age and illness while Ehd holds her in his arms, lets the fire in the cave burn out, and dies lying next to her, heartbroken. Just like a loyal doggie would.
|Rating Report Card|
It’s said that women and men are from two different planets when it comes to communication, but how can they overcome the obstacles of prehistoric times when one of them simply doesn’t have the ability to comprehend language?
Ehd’s a caveman living on his own in a harsh wilderness. He’s strong and intelligent, but completely alone. When he finds a beautiful young woman in his pit trap, it’s obvious to him that she is meant to be his mate. He doesn’t know where she came from, she’s wearing some pretty odd clothing, and she makes a lot of noises with her mouth that give him a headache. Still, he’s determined to fulfill his purpose in life – provide for her, protect her, and put a baby in her.
Elizabeth doesn’t know where she is or exactly how she got there. She’s confused and distressed by her predicament, and there’s a caveman hauling her back to his cavehome. She’s not at all interested in Ehd’s primitive advances, and she just can’t seem to get him to listen. No matter what she tries, getting her point across to this primitive but beautiful man is a constant – and often hilarious – struggle.
With only each other for company, they must rely on one another to fight the dangers of the wild and prepare for the winter months. As they struggle to coexist, theirs becomes a love story that transcends language and time.Transcendence by Shay Savage