Easily the most creative tale I have read in a long while, Savage takes us back to prehistory-- to a time when humans, or perhaps more accurately, the near ancestors of humans, were not quite verbal yet. We meet a struggling, lonely caveman known by the name-sound Edh. We learn he is the sole survivor of his tribe, and he has started to wonder if his solitary existence it worth the effort it takes to leave his furs each morning. He decides he is not yet ready to surrender to the endless sleep, so he gets up one more time, shaky and starving, and goes to check his traps-- and discovers he has captured a young female. She is obviously terrified, dressed in animal furs he has never seen before, with strange colors painted on her face. He realizes he has been gifted a mate, and suddenly he has a very important reason to continue living.
Edh has no idea the woman is from another time and place, modern-day America, and that she somehow fell through time to wind up in his arms.
Told from Edh's perspective throughout, Transcendence is one of the most beautiful love stories you'll ever read. Here's one of many favorite passages:
I feel my smile on my face as I understand what she is doing. Though it's a strange one, she has a name-sound just like I do, and she's telling me what it is. I try to make the same sounds. "Ehh..beh." I frown. Why is her name-sound so difficult and so long?
She frowns right back at me and says it again. "Elizabeth."
She sighs and her forehead wrinkles.
She taps her chest again.
The sound is shorter but still very odd.
"Beth," she repeats.
I've had enough. I reach out and touch her shoulder. "Beh."
I tap her a little harder and growl. "Beh", I repeat. I tap her again. "BEH!"
Her eyes widen a bit, and she inhales sharply. A moment later, her shoulders drop and she sighs.
"Beh," she says quietly.
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