The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
The Lives of Tao is the debut novel from Wesley Chu, an action packed, secret organization, globetrotting sci-fi thriller. As an action junkie, this book his all the right notes for me - think The Matrix meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
The story follows Roen, a down on his luck programmer who is wearily plodding through the daily motions of his depressing life. That all changes one night when Tao, an ancient alien life form who survives through a symbiotic coupling with a human host, is forced from his current body and has no choice but to couple with the nearest human - who just happens to be Roen. Tao is not alone, he and his race have lived on Earth for a very long time, influencing events by coupling with some of the most influential people in history. Roen is thrust into the middle of a secret war between the two factions that govern Tao's race (the Prophus and the Genjix), and since Tao is a highly sought after target, Roen must get fit and become a fighter if he wants to survive.
The Lives of Tao is a reasonably straight forward story, one that plays out like a big game of hide and seek / training montage until Roen has built up the necessary skills to start going out on missions. It's almost like a coming of age story for a mid-twenties programmer with no ambition and no hopes for the future. The training montage probably went on for too long, but it was handled very effectively. We get to know both Roen and Tao inside out as the two of them work together to build up Roen physically and mentally, and the frequent action scenes that occur when Genjix agents find Roen are great at demonstrating Roen's progress. But once Roen starts heading out on missions, the action is cranked up a few notches and destruction ensues. This is loads of fun, and I can't wait to see what Chu comes up with next.
In terms of characters, Chu has put together a very Matrix like cast which I think suits the style of the story very nicely. Roen is our Neo - he is not a great student and he often acts like a five year old and throws tantrums when things get too hard, but he is brave and will do reckless things to help out people in need. Tao is our Morpheus, a wise sage with ridiculous amounts of experience who has a very personal stake in the war with the Genjix. Sonya is our Trinity - a prodigious young woman who was raised by The Prophus and acts as Roen's training partner. Chu's characters aren't just transplants of the Matrix characters, they are very much their own characters with their own strengths and weaknesses, but they do share very similar roles with their Matrix counterparts, and I think it makes for an interesting comparison.
The Lives of Tao is a fun book with a lot of energy and it really worked for me. Full of action, adventure, martial arts, gunplay, and large quantities of geeky goodness. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for something a lighter than the current swathe of serious sci-fi / fantasy.
This The Lives of Tao book review was written by Ryan Lawler
All reviews for: Tao
Cameron Tan wouldn’t have even been in Greece if he hadn’t gotten a ‘D’ in Art History. Instead of spending the summer after college completing his ...
The Lives of Tao
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 bra...
The Deaths of Tao
The Prophus and the Genjix are at war. For centuries they have sought a way off-planet, guiding humanity's social and technological development to the stage where space...
The Rebirths of Tao
The centuries-long schism between the Genjix and the Prophus threatens to plunge the whole planet into a new World War. Roen is the only person who can protect a turned Gen...
Have you read The Lives of Tao?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
The Lives of Tao reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
Ready Player One
They made me kill thousands, but I only have one target now.The Radch are conquerors to be feared - resist and they'll turn you into a 'corpse soldier' -...
George RR Martin
In the six decades since the alien plague known as the “Wild Card virus” spread a wave of mutations across the globe, humanity has begun to come to terms with i...
The Martian War
Kevin J Anderson
What if the Martian invasion was not entirely the product of H. G. Wells's vivid imagination? What if Wells witnessed something that spurred him to write The War of the...
Zenn Scarlett is a bright and occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. She specializes in the treatment...
When the world was flat (And we were in love)
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if...
Victor and Eli, due to a research project gone wrong, become ExtraOrdinaries (referred to as EO's from here on in) with supernatural powers. Ten years later Victor esca...
Echo Boy by Nestlé Smarties Book Prize winner Matt Haig is a stand-alone science/speculative-fiction novel set exactly 100 years in the future. It offers a vision of...
Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she only has a single body and serves the emperor she swore to des...
Orson Scott Card
Jonathan L Howard
The distant and unloved colony world of Russalka has no land, only the raging sea. No clear skies, only the endless storm clouds. Beneath the waves, the people live in pres...
Steven L Kent
Earth, 2508 A.D.. Humans populate the six arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. The oppressive Unified Authority controls Earth’s colonies with an iron first, stamping out re...
The Adventures of Nana Barb
The Universe is dangerously close to collapsing. With a shady authority known as the Time Police on their tail, will the Timeseekers be able to save us all? Their only hope...
The Maze Runner
When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas remembers is his first name. But he's not alone. He's surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade -...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the common foe. And even if the clans can join forces, how will they defeat an enemy whose magical prowess renders them indistinguishable from gods?The answer lies across the...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...
The Dog Stars
Hig, bereaved and traumatised after global disaster, has three things to live for - his dog Jasper, his aggressive but helpful neighbour, and his Cessna aeroplane. He's...
Beren and Luthien
Painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien wil...
Life moves at a leisurely pace in the tiny town of Wall - named after the imposing stone barrier which separates the town from a grassy meadow. Here, young Tristran Thorn h...