Sunday 16 February 2014

Transcendence by Shay Savage

Genres: Adult, Historical Fiction, Sci-fi/Time Travel, Romance
Publication Date: February 13th 2014
POV: Male - First-person, Present tense.
Smut-O-Meter: 9 out of 10
My Rating: 5 out of 5


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.


This book is amazing and unique like absolutely nothing I have read before. It starts with this dedication:

"For all those who didn't want a story about a man who acted like a caveman, but a story about an actual caveman!"

Shay Savage also proceeds to explain to us that Ehd is not a real form of caveman. He is not historically accurate. He looks like a homo-sapien, but he has absolutely no ability to communicate through language or signs. So you have to be able to suspend your disbelief.

The entire book, minus the epilogue, is written in Ehd's first-person POV, so that is another reason to suspend your disbelief. He cant form a sentence or understand anything that Elizabeth, Beh, says to him, but he can think very eloquently. Although, I can accept that this is what he sees and feels, if he were able to describe it. But perhaps it would have been better written in third-person POV. Either 1st or 3rd, I love that it is solely from Ehd's POV, it gives us such a unique perspective. When we first meet Elizabeth, its clear she is from the future from the way that Ehd describes her jeans and eyeshadow, but we have no idea where she came from or who she was. I suspected she was young because of the blue and pink eyeshadow. She yells and shouts at Ehd when he takes her back to his cave, but we have no idea what she is saying. I can imagine why she is afraid, but we can only guess from Ehd's observations. As time passes, we know exactly how Ehd feels about her. How she has become his #1 priority. How everything he does is the provide for her and protect her. But we can only guess how Beh feels, as Ehd does. She isn't afraid of him anymore, but she sometimes cries, and we can assume it is because she is homesick, but we don't know. Ehd thinks she must be missing her family. She must have gotten lost in the forest and separated from her tribe so he just hugs her and rocks her till she stops crying. 

"I want her to be here with me. I want her to be close to me as I work or fish, and I want her to lie next to me in the furs at night. In my mind, she is with me always and forever.
Finally, its clear to me that I want her for more than children."

Elizabeth tries to teach Ehd a few words but it just does not work. Apparently, among Ehd's people, people have designated sounds. So, when she tries to teach him her name, the best he can come up with is Beh. When he first tries to mate with her she yells 'no' so he learns that that is a bad sound. When she makes that sound she is mad. Even though in the future she uses the word in innocuous ways, he always thinks it means she is mad. She eventually tries to teach him the word 'kiss', the best he can come up with is 'khzz', and he knows that if he makes that sound she will kiss him, but I don't think he understands that the sound is the kiss. And lastly, she tries to teach him the word 'love'. The best he can come up with is 'luff', and I don't think he understands that sound at all. But he knows that when he makes it, it makes her smile, and he loves to see her smile. So, in a way, when he says it to her he is doing exactly what the word intends, and showing her that he loves her. *swoon*

"In the darkness of the cave, there is a light inside her eyes that makes my heart beat faster. I know the emotions I see there are also reflected in my own gaze though I have never felt this way before. Beh softly repeats the same three sounds, followed by my name-sound."

The relationship between Ehd and Beh is just so amazing. The fact that they cannot communicate means that all their love has to be shown through actions. Ehd is always trying to provide for her. Hunting, fishing, collecting wood. Beh cooks for him, bathes him, brushes his hair. Its all so basic but effective and beautiful. I felt and saw their love so much that I cried often. There was so much love that it was just bursting out of me. And I don't just mean a little bit of tears. I mean have a box of tissues handy. At one part I was gasping and I had to put the book down for awhile to recover.

Although there was a lot of sex at the beginning of their relationship, enough to probably garner an erotica label, it isn't all about the fast, passionate stage of their relationship. The book covers their entire life together and eventually the sex is no longer described, as their life expands and begins to encompass so much more. Its too large-scale and epic of a love story to really be an erotica. It surpasses what that label can contain. It is one of the greatest love stories I have ever read.

"If she doesn't wake up, then I will just lie with her until I don't wake up either."


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