Book Review – Transcendence by Shay Savage

by Maryse on February 15, 2014 · 35 comments

in My Book Reviews

A love story involving a caveman? Definitely not my usual. I mean, sure… I do prefer my book-heroes to be alphas,  so in essence, you might think that the whole “caveman” thing would be right up my alley. *shrug* Not really. neutral

Or so I thought.

Oh… I was curious, for sure. Considering that fact that I’ve loved this author’s writing in the past (her other books, one of ‘em – Surviving Raine - being one of my all-time favorites). I was enticed by the idea of reading something so unique, despite the “weird-factor”. <— Actually. Scratch that. I kinda love that “weird” factor. Hermits, escorts (<—how does that even work out?), kidnappers, forbidden love “couples” and now… cavemen. ;) As long as the main focus is on love (or some weird rendition of “love”), I’m in!

And considering that this was not so much a “historical” as much as it was a love story influenced by adapting and survival, I was even more intrigued. After all, I LOVE those! Books about love dawning… and even thriving against all odds. Despite dire circumstances. Books like Surviving RaineThe Bronze HorsemanOn The Island, and even The Hunger Games captivate me every time.

But it’s when I saw this part of the synopsis that my mind overloaded in anticipation! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, ’cause it’s not just about a caveman and his “woman”. His woman is a modern one. From OUR time.

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…

… 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.

So yes… there’s that “time-travel” angle (so I suspected) hovering in the background, keeping us on edge, but it’s not necessarily the focus of the story. And it’s not a “comedy” read either (which is what my husband assumed. Too much Encino Man for him, maybe?). Not a “comedy” no, despite the many times it made me laugh out loud, and had me grinning so many times in between.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Tee hee! He growls at her to get her to calm down, and when he realizes he scared her, he feels bad and growls at her a second time… softly. That made me giggle!

Brandi: Cavemen!! *dies* Buying and starting NOW haha I’m getting Clan of the Cave Bear flashbacks thanks Maryse!

Ana: What?! OMG! I need this! *buybuybuy*

Emma: Hoh!!! <— side note from Maryse. Ohhhh I get this, now. ;) Tee hee!!!

Rebecca: Lol, definitely Clan of the cave bear flashbacks!! Crossed with Surviving Raine survival… I’ve just started this.

Stacy: Omg! Im 34% into it and I love it! Ive never read anything quite like this. Also, its hilarious! lol Shay Savage is a bad-ass!!

Stephanie: I’m reading it too! It’s so good!!!

Rebecka: And done! Wow I loved. Epilogue …

Maryse’s Book Blog: The name part was sooooooo cuuuuute!

Vicki: I’m reading it now and I can’t stop laughing!!!

Kandace: When I started the book I had to message Shay to ask if I should be laughing and she said YES! It’s so different but so good. I thought I would miss somethings because of “you know” but I truly enjoyed their interaction. I honestly thought she was crazy when she said she was writing a book about a caveman! I’m glad you’re liking it.

Maryse’s Book Blog: I am loving it, and laughing out loud, but it also tugs at my heart. Sweet and a bit sad at times. Totally up our alley my friends! I’m still reading as we speak.

Ann: Stayed up till 3 am finishing. So sweet… So good and different! No cliffhanger but she leaves herself open to write another.

Sally: I am so happy that everyone finally gets to read this utterly amazing & unique book! Shay Savage really outdid herself with this one!

Jaime: That book was so weird…but so adorable! Loved it.

Maryse’s Book Blog: Annnnd done! WOW!! What. An. Ending!!! What an epilogue!! There were tears…  LOVED IT!

Erin: I could not stop the tears. I loved that epilogue

Kandace: The ending sealed the deal for me. Did you figure out the gift her *spoiler* gave her?

Maryse: The ending was AMAZING!!!! Sealed it for me, too. The gift…? Hrmm… no. LOL!!!! Tell me in a private message.

Andrea: Wasn’t it perfect! There are so many things that came full circle in the end.

Polly: I adored the ending!! So beautiful and poignant. Had tears rolling.

Erin: I wanted inside of Beh’s head sooo bad!!!

Jennifer: I adored this book. I just finished it, it’s 4:30 in the morning and I want more!! I loved it. So different but so captivating. This is one book I would truly, from the depths of my heart, want to read from her POV just to be immersed in this story again! Please Shay Savage, give it to us from her POV! Thank you so much for the recommendation Maryse’s Book Blog and thank you for a beautiful story Shay Savage! (BTW I love, love, love Ehd! He was such a breath of fresh air, his strength and his tenderness were balanced perfectly).

Agreed Jennifer! I think the only thing that would have made this better, maybe given it more “depth” (via a totally different perspective) would have been having the heroine’s POV at least a few times for a few integral scenes. Might have changed things up a bit (as at times, things did get a tad repetitive through his more basic perspective). Although when it comes to emotion, there is nothing basic about him. But still… overall? She pulled it off, and my heart had that squeeeeezy feel in the end.

What what whaaaaaat? Just his POV?!!!” you ask. Yep. The author wrote the entire thing from the caveman’s POV. A man with no real language abilities. To be fair, the author took some artistic liberties, so to us, his thoughts and perceptions are coming through loud and clear, in english, no less. But the entire discovery, and eventual connection is translated through his eyes.

And let me tell you, this author is something else, ’cause she was still able to deliver the heroine’s POV, through him. Mind you, at times, his caveman, or should I just say “male” comprehension rolleyes of what she was experiencing (or trying to say) was wayyyy off, but to us, the reader… things were clear. ;) And this author is just clever that way. When it counted, we were living through her eyes, too.

So what’s it about? Well… pretty much what the synopsis says, and I won’t go into it much further than that. The fun is in the step-by-step discovery, when it comes to this story. “Ehd” (a young man) has been alone for years, having lost his family and entire tribe to a fire. Having to fend for himself with no companionship is wearing on him and he’s losing the will to live.

Not for the first time, I consider just going back to my cave, lying down, and letting the hunger take me. I’m tired, I’m cold, and alone. I’m not sure there is any reason for me to continue to work so hard just to keep myself alive.

Winters are harsh, he’s starving and doesn’t believe he’ll live much longer (and isn’t really working towards survival anymore). That is, until he finds a woman in his trap. Beautiful and wearing such odd clothing (and colors on her face), he decides he’s taking her (despite her protests). No worries, my friends… he’s a sweeeeeeetie!!!

Kandace: I loved how he tried figuring out what made her happy. Men today still haven’t figured that out. Lol!

Maryse: Poooor sweet not-so-alpha Ehd.

Kandace: He wasn’t alpha at all but so sweet.

Maryse: LOVED!! You’d think a caveman would be alpha and all scary-EEEEP and stuff with his woman. She couldn’t have lucked out more, if you ask me (considering the circumstances).

Yep… once he had a friend, he was going to do anything to protect her. And… put a baby in her. eek LOL!! But at first, he’s so concerned and self-conscious of his care taking abilities, his living arrangements and wanting to please her.

Does she think it is good enough? What if she thinks it’s too small? After so much time alone, I hadn’t considered that I might find a mate and hadn’t collected the things she would want and need to start her life with me. Now that I am thinking about it, I realize I have very little to offer a mate, not even much in the way of food.

And really, all she’s thinking is…. HELP!!!!!!!

I have no idea what she needs, and I wonder what might have happened to her to make her so sad.

I suddenly realize that she must have lost her tribe just as I have.

Awwwww!!! sad emoticon *clutches chest*

Now that I comprehend, my heart aches for her.

But despite their communication difficulties and language barrier, the look of love needs no translation. And this one had my heart from the get go.

An unconventional, delightfully weird love story. Weird… but not quirky or corny, you know? Just… right up our alley, and I loved it!

I was fluctuating between 4 and 4.5 stars, (4 stars, due to my occasional need for the heroine’s POV), but just for the fact that I read it with gusto, and for that incredible heart-squeeeeeezing, super clever, gasp-worthy ending? I’m giving it…

4.5 stars!

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Renate February 15, 2014 at 9:58 PM

Trazan? Jane? what am I missing???

Ashley February 15, 2014 at 9:59 PM

Loved it! I’m trying to figure out what gift Kandace is referring to? I’m not sure if I missed something.

Amy February 15, 2014 at 10:50 PM

No mention of how “cuddling” with the caveman was. *giggle* ;) Seriously though, I’m intrigued. Hot caveman with a big heart who just wants to take care of and provide for his woman? Sold!!

Maryse February 15, 2014 at 10:55 PM

Okay Ashley… if I say it here I’ll have to *spoiler* warn the comment…

*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*

*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*
*spoiler warning – skip this comment if you haven’t read the book yet*

Kandace asked the author what was in the box. It was contraception, medicine and a solar-powered e-reader (which showed her all of the plants and flowers that he kept seeing her look at)…

Maryse February 15, 2014 at 10:56 PM


He was sooooooooooo cuddly!!!!! And very… er… virile? LOL!!!! Oh I mean, you know… the steamy scenes said so. ;)

Ashley February 15, 2014 at 11:04 PM

Thank you Maryse! I figured out the first item but didn’t know about the last two.

Amy February 15, 2014 at 11:15 PM

LOL!!!!! I’d “cuddle” with that! :P

Linda February 15, 2014 at 11:29 PM

Transcendence was a beautiful read. The synopsis had me so intrigued. I finished this book at 4:30 am this morning. I just sobbed. Couldn’t sleep and just cannot get this story of Ehd and Beh’s luff story out of my head. Just one more kizzh? Stunning and Shay Savage is brilliant.

Kelley February 16, 2014 at 12:22 AM

I just finished tonight. The epilogue made me want to go back and read the whole thing from her perspective now that I know where she is from. So good! A really unique story.

Jean February 16, 2014 at 10:16 AM

I read this book yesterday in one sitting! Could not put it down until the end! Loved it! Thanks for the info about the gift! I agree that Beth’s POV would have been nice, but Shay Savage has that ability to just make it work!!!!

Anne February 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Just finished this morning. I adored this read. Shay Savage is just so tallented. Really enjoyed reading the story from Ehd’s POV. His “”luff” and unwavering commitment to his mate was beautiful and the story hooked me from the start. Thanks Maryse for another fantastic recommendation! BTW, good to know what was in the mystery box! That was bugging me a little!

Rachel February 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

So good, and so different than any book I have read before. I loved the originality of it and had tears streaming down my face at the end. Absolutely loved it.

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM

We need to start a spoiler discussion in the Talk/chat room up to the right left in my menu bar…

I came across a few more reveals (other readers asking the author)… and a few theories on that ending. :)

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

*Luffs* < — awwwww!!! :D

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Here is the link to this thread in the “spoiler forum”:

Michelle M February 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Shay Savage is AWESOME!!!!! How does an author create such an emotionally captivating story without actual dialogue? I’m not sure, but Shay did it! That is part of the magic of this story and the beauty of these two characters. They have no common language, or even the ability to develop one, they have completely different life experiences, or the lack of in some instances, and they really don’t understand the others behavior most of the time. But they truly need each other in the most fundamentally human ways. That need and love transcends all the deficits and carries this story to a beautiful…ending? An absolute must-read!

Jill February 16, 2014 at 1:32 PM

You know when someone says don’t look and all you want to do is look? That’s how I feel about your ‘spoiler’ comment! Ha! I keep skimming over it but my eyes want to read it sooo badly! ;) Anyway, thanks for the review. I was waiting for you to review it before I bought it because it seems a little out yhere… but apparently not so it’ll be on my one of my next reads. Thanks again!!

Lori February 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM

I just finished this and WOW! Tears were streaming down my face at the end, and my husband tells me he’s sorry he can’t be as romantic as a caveman @@ I really loved it, but it would have been that much better with some of the h’s perspective. It would be awesome if Shay wrote a sequel, from the female characters voice, I’d buy it.

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 3:41 PM

I’d buy it too, Lori. Totally would read that. Falling for him through HER eyes… seeing his reactions from her perspective when she’d get mad at him *my heart*…

Shay!! Write it again, but from her POV please! I think there’d be so much more “different” just because we have someone who’s from our time having to adapt to this new world.

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 3:43 PM

LOL Jill!!!

My mom admitted to me yesterday that when she reads my reviews and comes across one of my spoiler warnings where I insist that the reader stay away from it… she reads it. Each and every time ’cause she can’t help herself.

But then again, she’s one of those that runs to the end of the book and reads the last line before she starts it. *shakes head* ;)

Maryse February 16, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Michelle, EXACTLY!!! Exactly as you’ve said it… she rocked this one!

Michelle M February 16, 2014 at 4:16 PM

Maryse ~ Hey, isn’t Shay Savage one of your Book Bash authors? Perhaps you all could mount a campaign of, oh I don’t know, shameless on your knees begging to plead with her to write a follow-up from Beh’s POV! I agree with previous posts that a book from Beh’s POV would be like a whole new story because it would be her experiences, her perceptions, and her side of the dialogue that Ehd didn’t comprehend. Yes, we would know the story’s destination, but it would be a whole new journey to get there! :-)

Sarah T February 16, 2014 at 5:36 PM

Just finished and so glad I read this without knowing anything except what you told me. I just trusted you and this was exactly what I needed. So different and a perfect read for me these past two days…Okay, so I even listened on my kindle while I shopped at Hobby Lobby and the grocery store last night. It was good even with the weird voice :-) Thank you for letting us know about this book. I feel like my palate has been cleansed. Off to my next read now…

Andrea February 16, 2014 at 5:38 PM

I was so lucky to read a Beta copy and yes, she TOTALLY rocked this book!! When she gave me a brief synopsis beforehand, I was like, “Huh?” How could this possibly work writing a male POV when he has no ability to converse? Shay Savage is one of the few authors I’ve read that COULD bring it home like she has! No cookie-cutter here!

Linda February 16, 2014 at 5:41 PM

If we all band together and boycott her just maybe she would succumb to our demands. .. I mean hope. Xoxox

Jill February 16, 2014 at 8:11 PM

Oh my goodness!!! She reads the last line in the book?! Lol! Love it! Gotta love moms. :)

Kristina February 17, 2014 at 6:13 PM

Omg, I’m about 40% in and I’m loving it! The blurb was kind of strange, but your review sealed it for me. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

Isadora February 17, 2014 at 11:43 PM

Ok, I have to admit I almost didn’t finish this book… About 58% through I didn’t feel like reading anymore… It was sooo boring!!! The only thing that kept me coming back was That I had to know how it ended. The epilogue made me see it with a different perspective. Very clever… And I can see why she never gave us Beh’s POV, otherwise we would have guessed what was going on…
I did miss that though, I think it would have been way better knowing exactly what she was thinking… I would have connected more with the book for sure. I got so tired of Ehd’s “voice”.
3.5 stars for me

Sabrina February 18, 2014 at 12:37 AM

I loved this!!! 5 stars from me

Kristina February 18, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Finished! 5stars for me! What a beautiful story.

Lynne February 22, 2014 at 6:43 AM

Just finished. I feel like I could burst into tears because it was just so Beautiful.

Maryse February 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM

*hugs Lynne*

Kim Cheeseman March 23, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I know I am late to the game….BUT I was recommended this book from a fellow FB book buddy that also LOVES your blog MARYSE and when she told me we should read this one together I was like “caveman” awww ok…because I LOVED Surviving Raine – I wanted to give Shay the benefit of the doubt…I rated it 3.5 stars until the last few paragraphs where EVERYTHING was falling together so then a 4.5 and then the epilogue OMG I give it an A++++ “5″ stars!!! the most amazing LOVE story EVER!!!

mica meyer June 4, 2014 at 1:35 AM

I kept seeing this book on Amazon and Goodreads and i thought I’m not reading that, its about a caveman (probably a neanderthal) and I’m not going to like it.
Then I read it in just under 2 days and I loved it so much I can’t get it out of my head. It is so different from the numerous other love stories in the NA or erotic category right now.
I am just about to read Surviving Raine now.

I really want a second book from Beh’s POV too, it was so interesting reading Edh’s POV because he couldn’t understand a lot of what Beh was saying and doing, it was quite unique.
Now i want to see what she was thinking and feeling.

mica meyer June 4, 2014 at 1:36 AM

@Maryse, Thank you for revealing what was in the container, i was quite confused about that.

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