Review: Transcendence by Shay Savage

Wednesday, March 12

Title:  Transcendence*
Author:  Shay Savage
Series: n/a
Genre:  Historical Romance, Time-Travel
Publisher:  self-published
Format:  ebook, paperback
Date/Year:  February 14, 2014
Reviewed by:  Andrea  

*This book was purchased by the reviewer for her own reading enjoyment.

Summary from the publisher:

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.

My Musings:

Did you see that cover?  I did a doubletake when I saw it because I was so intrigued by the man pictured!  I had no idea what this book was about, but that cover spoke to me.  CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR is one of my all time favorite series, so I obviously have a soft spot for prehistoric romance.  After seeing the cover, I had to read the blurb.  When I saw that Ehd was a caveman, I knew TRANSCENDENCE was getting a fastpass to the top of my reading list.

The most important thing you have to wrap your brain around is the fact that Ehd lacks a Broca’s area.  That’s the part of the brain which allows us to comprehend language and speech.  No matter how intelligent Ehd is, he cannot grasp the concept of sounds being a form of communication. It’s difficult to accept, but you need to do it in order to appreciate TRANSCENDENCE.

This book surprised me!  It is written entirely from Ehd’s point of view, and he doesn’t understand language.  This means that there is no dialogue in the book.  It is entirely made up of his thoughts, his actions, and his interpretation of Elizabeth.   It’s an oddly fascinating way to write a book.  It could have been a total disaster, but it isn’t.  It’s actually so well written that it took me a while to notice the lack of dialogue.  You don’t need it when you’ve got Ehd guiding you through the book.

Ehd is a caveman.  His needs are simple.  He has been alone and struggling to survive for years.  The effort it takes for him to meet his basic needs of food, fire, and shelter are almost more than he can do alone.  Ehd is tired of working so hard for so little and is on the verge of giving up when he discovers Elizabeth.  He cherishes her from the moment he sees her.  After that, he lives to provide for her, protect her, and love her.  Ehd knows how incredibly lucky he was to find her and he is willing to do anything to make her happy and earn her love. 

It’s a little more difficult for me to say what Elizabeth feels.  I was never in her head.  In all honestly, I didn’t get to know her very well.  I can only say what my impressions of her are based on what Ehd saw.  She is an incredibly strong woman.  I say this because she worked hard and was able to quickly adapt to her new environment.  She saw how much Ehd loved her and she grew to love him in return.  I adored Ehd and the fact that she valued his generosity and wholehearted love was more than enough for her to win me over. 

As much as I loved the book, I didn’t give it 5 stars.  There were two things which knocked the rating down just a little bit.  The first was the amount of sex.  I’m aware that Ehd had a few simple needs and that sex was one of them.  I get that, but as a reader I want sex scenes to advance the plot.  They didn’t always do that, so I could have done without a few of them.  The second was the mystery surrounding Elizabeth.  In the back of my mind I kept wondering how Elizabeth found herself in prehistoric times.  Don’t make yourself crazy on that one, the mystery does get resolved in the end.  I didn’t know that though, so it bothered me throughout the book.

I had a couple minor complaints, but they were nothing compared to how much I enjoyed the book overall.  This was a book like nothing else I have ever read.  It was interesting, it was different, and it was one of the most touching love stories I have found.  This is a truly special book and I definitely recommend it. (Currently ranked the #1 seller on Amazon's Historical Romance/Ancient World list)


Overall: 4.25 stars
Sensuality level: 3.5

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Elaine March 13, 2014 at 8:14 PM  

This looks great! I just put it on my "to-read" list.

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