The Lives of Tao. Book Review

TheLivesOfTao-144dpi-672x1024THE LIVES OF TAO by Wesley Chu

Angry Robot Books, p/b, 416pp, £8.99

Reviewed by Matthew Johns

The book opens with a scene almost out of a Bond movie – Edward Blair seduces a woman in a bar to steal her keys to break into a top secret tower block, all the while conducting a silent conversation with an alien in his head (the titular Tao).

This mission does not end well for Edward, and at his moment of death, Tao is released from his body and drifts insubstantially looking desperately for another host to save him from certain death, and enable him to continue his mission.  An ancient alien, who has previously inhabited Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Genghis Khan, he has to lower his standards slightly when the only host is the slovenly, out-of-shape IT technician Roen Tan.

Tao’s race crashed on Earth before the time of the dinosaurs and has been trapped since; trying to direct human-kind to produce the technology they need to leave the planet and head home again.  Split into two factions – the peace-loving Prophus (Tao’s side) and the ruthless Genjix, their war has raged for centuries.

An exceptionally entertaining book, Chu’s writing is easy to consume and leaves you wanting more.  Definitely one to read, and an author to watch.