Desert Isle Keeper
One of the main purposes of All About Romance is to provide a place to recommend books to other romance lovers. Most of the time, those recommendations come from the staff, but the AAR readers provide us all with wonderful recommendations as well. I discovered this book via our message boards and boy, am I glad I did. Without the backing of posters I have come to know and respect, I would have NEVER picked Transcendence up on my own.
The premise sounds too cheesy in a “let’s see just how obscure we can make this time-travel location to distinguish it from the multitudes” kind of way. Who knew that it was possible to write a story set 160,000 years ago with a minimum of language involved that could have this reader in tears several times throughout the story? This book is just simply wonderful and I anticipate revisiting Ehd and Beh many times in the years to come.
Almost the entire book is told from the perspective of Ehd (who I am assuming is Cro-Magnon rather than Neanderthal, but I may be wrong) and Ehd has very minimal to almost non-existent language skills. When the story begins, Ehd is living alone in a cave at the end of winter and nearly starving after reaching the end of his food supply. He is alone because a fire destroyed his village and his entire family perished as a result. He is depressed almost to the point of not caring if he lives or dies, but the will to live is tenacious and Ehd makes himself get up to check on the pit he has dug to trap an animal. He catches an antelope and shortly thereafter he catches something else … he catches his mate Beh.
It is apparent from the very beginning that Elizabeth/Beh is from the present time with her blue jeans and laced up shoes. She is tremendously and rightfully upset at her circumstances and very wary of Ehd. Ehd wants to make her his mate and Beh is having none of that. But Ehd is determined to win her and all they have is time. As the days turn into weeks and months, Ehd and Beh’s relationship slowly changes as they must rely on each other for survival. Beh attempts to teach Ehd words, but his progress is limited to a few one syllable grunts. Yet they communicate beautifully. The emotion that could be conveyed by a single sound was was absolutely amazing.
As the story is told from Ehd’s perspective, it is he that we come to know most intimately, his thoughts, wishes, hopes for the future. His fears, despairs and insecurities are all laid out in his thoughts and it is through Ehd’s mind that the story is told. His character is one of the most wonderfully drawn heroes I have ever seen. He is honorable. He puts his mate’s needs above his own. He is brave while admitting his fears. The entire goal of his life is survival and the survival of any of his offspring and that subsistence-level living has a tendency to take life down to its very core without any of the trivial problems that mark present day relationships. Live or die. Kill or be killed. It is life distilled.
My ONLY complaint about this book is when we get the perspective of Beh. Elizabeth’s part doesn’t seem to go with the rest of the book in my opinion. But this is a very small criticism and I enjoyed Transcendence from the first page to the last. Now to see what Shay Savage has in her backlist.