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Sunday, June 16, 2013

BOOK REVIEW The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu

Title: The Lives of Tao
Author: Wesley Chu
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publishing Date:
Length: 464 pages
Editions: print and ecopy
Source: Netgalley

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn’t.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans. Now split into two opposing factions – the peace-loving, but under-represented Prophus, and the savage, powerful Genjix – the aliens have been in a state of civil war for centuries. Both sides are searching for a way off-planet, and the Genjix will sacrifice the entire human race, if that’s what it takes.

Meanwhile, Roen is having to train to be the ultimate secret agent. Like that’s going to end up well…

A_TiffyFit's Review

Another winner from Angry Robots publishing house! What a great book! Almost makes you believe that it could all have been true and is STILL true. So many historical figures that Tao has influenced and made fantastic through possession and talking to the person, from Ghengis Khan to Mau to Roman emperors. We all know them from our history lessons. And that's why Tao's tales fit so perfectly and capture the reader with that sense of wonder, that sense of possibility. What if thye really DID have something to do with all of the leaps and bounds that we humans have made? Would knowing it all change how we feel about these Quasings? Would we feel manipulated and used or will we human beings take it in stride? In this story, they did direct many aspects of our evolution!

If Quasings have not interfered would we sill be back in the caves and have not the foggiest idea of the technologies of the day that we are so dependent on? Would we be writing on cave walls instead of our Facebook walls? 

The reader can easily empathize to the protagonist, Roen Tan and his experiences with the Quasings. He is the every man, at the bottom/in a rut as many of us can sympathize with having been there (or currently are there) ourselves.: work, the bar, home. These mundane every day living routines help us connect with him and feel everything that he experiences. He is human and therefore he is us. Roen is of good character, too, remaining his humble self even after his conversion. This, at least to me, makes him even more likable. And Tan, his Quasing partner, is similar in character, making it easier to accept that he is hitching a ride in Roen. I couldn't help but cheer them on as they fight the bad guys, the "evil" ones who really do not care what happens to the human race so long as they get the things out of them (humans) that they need.

It is really fantastic how the author, Chu, incorporates the historical milestones within the context of the  Tao's lives. I found it believable! THIS COULD ALL BE TRUE. Haha. What would we do if we knew? If I had to describe this book to someone in a few short words, I would use: imaginative, enjoyable, wondrous. 

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