SPOILER ALERT ⚠
The Book – Transcendence by Shay Savage
Shay Savage’s Transcendence is no great work of literature. It’s Twilight fan-fiction about a time-traveling teen finding love with a caveman who acts like a protective puppy dog.
I have never read any of the Twilight books, nor read a sample, nor seen the films. I’ve never had the desire to do so, yet despite that, I know more about the series than I care to.
If the names 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 series. There are no feuding groups, no love triangles, no baseball games, and no battles.
Transcendence is told from the perspective of a prehistoric young male named Ehd who lives alone, surviving by himself. One day he comes upon a beautiful young female who produces a lot of noise with her mouth. This woman strikes a “primitive” chord in this primitive male, and he desires to form a pair bond with her.
Ehd calls the woman Beh, and over time they learn to communicate with one another using a fusion of body language facial expressions, and sound. Ehd’s sole intention is to please Beh, keep her safe and hopefully, mate with her, so he can put his baby into her.
The reader’s perspective is limited to what Ehd experiences. Since the reader–presumably–has a higher IQ than Ehd does, plus is familiar with aspects of living in the present, it is evident to us that Beh is not an ordinary cavewoman, but a girl from the 21st century who accidentally finds herself catapulted back to the dawn of humanity, somewhere in the mid to later Paleolithic Era.
80% of the book is just Beh and Ehd alone, dealing with the harsh environment with almost zero spoken dialogue throughout. It’s a primal love story between a young, frightened girl and a young, frightened male both trying to survive in a brutal world.
My First Impressions
I loved this book! I can’t believe it, though! I cried like a baby reading it. Must have been my time of the month.
It was written on a sixth-grade reading level with the terms baby, mate, or put a baby in my mate showing up on every single page! Transcendence was incredibly repetitive, and simplistic, 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. Or, more likely, it reminded me of the film that I consider to be the most romantic movie with a happy ending: “Quest for Fire.”
In a caveman-romance, it makes sense that the hero is all: “You my woman. I am your man. We are mated. I protect you and throw you over my shoulder so we make lots of babies.”
That attitude doesn’t work for me in contemporary romance or whatever genre. But here it works; it makes sense.
About the Unique Hero
I saw that many readers labeled 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 wasn’t an independent type, he was always wanting to be with Beh. Ehd’s constantly thinking: “I want to protect my mate. I can never let my mate out of my sight. I will growl at anyone who comes at my mate. My penis is hard.”
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 Opinion of Transcendence
Shay Savage’s Transcendence was a rare experience for me as it was told from a rare (for me) male 1st-person-POV, which worked to add a sense of confusion. A young girl is propelled back in time and we have to put the pieces together to figure out what’s going on.
As much as I loved this book, I hope there is no sequel or one of those alternate POV sequels. The story finishes rather definitively. There are some hanging questions, but for me, the ending was an ending. It was both a sad and happy ending and 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 this one.
Spoiler Alert: Do NOT Read This Unless You Really, Truly Want To
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 heartbroken. Just like a loyal doggie would.
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