Science fiction is probably one of my favorite genres to read. The genre is a fascinating realm containing aliens, science and adventure. This novel combines all three into an amazingly fast paced setting. The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu is a fantastic and exciting book and it’s one of my favorite books I have read all year.
The Lives of Tao tells the story of an overweight and unmotivated individual in the Chicago area named Roen Tan. After a hard night of partying Roen wakes hearing strange voices in his head. Turns out, an ancient alien race called the Quasing inhabited Roen’s head overnight. His particular Quasing, Tao, is a Prophus, who wants to return to his home planet. Unfortunately, so do the Genjix, another faction of the Quasing and they’re willing to sacrifice the human race to achieve the same goal. Roen becomes trained in martial arts and old school espionage to stop the Genjix and save the human race.
I really enjoyed Roen. Initially, he is really bothersome. He constantly whines about his boring job and his weight yet he’s lazy and he does nothing to improve his situation. Once Tao becomes a part of Roen, his character changes. Roen gains the motivation he lacks and becomes more aware of his surroundings. Roen in the end becomes a really engaging character because of his journey into becoming a Prophus agent. The bond that Roen and Tao have is heartwarming. Tao acts as his coach, friend and father. Tao is brutally honest which furthers the development of their relationship.
Learning about the Quasing’s alien race and their history is also appealing. Each chapter page details a small paragraph regarding the past lives of the Quasing. It’s a complimentary feature to the main story. Another interesting tidbit is the Quasing have inhabited various historical figures such as Genghis Khan, Nazi guards and members of the roman empire.
The action sequences in this novel are fast paced and gritty. It’s easy for my mind to wander and imagine Roen fighting various Genjix personnel. My favorite fight scene is at the Chicago Night club. I just imagine the dark club atmosphere with the neon lights as punches are being thrown and drinks and shattered glass litter the floor.
The only negative comment I can say is at first this novel is sluggish and slightly boring. Understandably, it will take Roen quite some time to become trained into becoming a Prophus agent. Once Roen is officially trained and the Genjix come after him does the novel press forward.
The Lives of Tao is a bewilderingly gritty, dark and action packed science fiction novel. The Quasing are fascinating creatures to learn about. Wesley Chu is an author I’m keeping tabs on because he knows how to write an exciting action sequence. The characters are intriguing and the writing is superb.
My next book is probably going to be horror related. That’s probably in honor of horror film director Wes Craven who passed away today! Scream will be one of my all time favorite franchises. Now I’m going on this horror book kick which is perfect since October is right around the corner.