Book Review: Transcendence

 Shay Savage

I have a good friend who sends me recommendations for books all the time. Last week she made me read an odd book. I don’t think I would have picked this one myself, but she practically threatened me...

Transcendence is a love story, situated in a prehistoric era. It’s a story about survival against the odds, transcending time and place. Ehd is a young, prehistoric caveman (Ya, don’t we all want an alpha caveman to grab us by the hair and drag us straight into his cave?), who lives alone after his tribe perished in a forest fire.

Jane (Maureen O’Sullivan) and Tarzan (Johnny Weismuller) in the
interior of the tree house in Tarzan and His Mate (1934)

Elisabeth is a very young, modern woman, accidentally transported back in time to be found by Ehd. He is perplexed by her; she wears strange clothing and makes strange sounds with her mouth. None the less, she is beautiful, and Ehd knows she is meant for him, destined to be his mate.

I can’t decide whether the story is super brilliant or really ludicrous. Please read on with me, and maybe you can help me decide...

On the brilliant side is the author’s ability to write a story solely from Ehd’s POV. This is impressive because Ehd does not have the ability to talk or to comprehend Beh talking. He is able to pronounce only one-syllable words, although he is intelligent and a fast learner. We read only his thoughts throughout the story. It’s really genius to tell a story only from someone thoughts, no dialogue, no verbal communication. Especially when the narrator or thinker doesn’t understand half of it.

To Ehd, the young woman, Elisabeth, makes a lot of noise with her mouth. He stops her from this bizarre cacophony many times, sometimes with his hand on her mouth, other times with his own mouth over hers. Many times these noises give him a real headache. Hey, if you think about it, there are more than a few modern men who feel the same way. I know a few who can’t comprehend women’s talk, even complain they get a real headache from it. You know that kind of talk: “you are driving me crazy...” and all that kind of s@@t.

Ehd knows his purpose in life: to provide and protect his mate and “put a baby in her.” It’s all very simple for him. He strives to achieve his goals, and it is not so easy with no communication and the barrier of many centuries between them. Beh is overwhelmed at first, but slowly she adapts to her surroundings and to Ehd.

It was endearing to read how Elisabeth tries to teach Ehd her name; of course he can’t pronounce it and ends up calling her Beh. The same thing happens when she tries to teach him the word kiss, a humorous moment — there are quite a few hilarious moments.

It’s a delightfully heartwarming story, a unique idea for a story.

On the other hand, this is a weird story, a bit too long, and with too many repetitive sentences. There were moments that strained credulity, yet did almost nothing to diminish the story line.

The plot is a bit superficial for my taste. I’d like the character to have more depth, but I am not the writer, so it’s just my take. I did applaud Ms. Savage’s ability to portray quite well Elizabeth’s character and side of the story only through Ehd’s thoughts.

All in all, I was surprised by this story and feel almost as perplexed as Ehd, regarding my feelings for it.

When weighing the pros and cons, I seem to come up with more cons the longer I think about it, as you read from my thoughts here. Yet the story has captivated my imagination enough that I wanted to talk about it with others.

I wonder, my dear readers, what do you think? Do you think you would like this story?


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