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The Lives of Tao [Kindle Edition]

Wesley Chu
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen Tan 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…

File Under: Science Fiction [ The Tug of War | I Was Genghis | Diary of a Slob | Spy vs Spy ]


Product Description

Review

Tipping his hat to both science fiction novels and comic books, Chu delivers a narrative that is at times pulse-pounding, laugh-out-loud funny and thoughtful. Part James Bond, part Superman, part Orphanage. There's something here for everyone. --Myke Cole, author of Control Point and Fortress Frontier

In The Lives of Tao, newcomer Wesley Chu delivers an action-laced sci fi thriller filled with clever ideas and witty, engaging characters. A thoroughly enjoyable ride. --John Marco, Author of "The Inhumans" and "The Tyrants And Kings" trilogies

About the Author

Wesley Chu was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Chicago, Illinois when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast. Wesley is an avid gamer and a contributing writer for the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. A former stunt man and a member of the SAG, he can also be seen in film and television playing roles such as "Banzai Chef" in Fred Claus (honestly, we are not making this stuff up, he's got his own IMDB entry and everything) and putting out Oscar worthy performances as a bank teller in Chicago Blackhawks commercials. Besides working as an Associate Vice President at a bank, he spends his time writing and hanging out with his wife Paula Kim and their Airedale Terrier, Eva.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 889 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (28 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CKXF1B8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,149 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Wesley Chu was born in Taiwan and immigrated to Chicago, Illinois when he was just a pup. It was there he became a Kung Fu master and gymnast. With a degree in Information Systems, he made the logical career choice of becoming a stuntman, a member of the Screen Actor's Guild, and a contributing writer to the Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Wesley currently lives in Chicago with his wife Paula Kim and their Airedale terrier, Eva.

His debut novel, The Lives of Tao, is out now.
The sequel, Deaths of Tao, will be released Oct 29th, 2013.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Geekery, aliens, and hijinks 20 May 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One of my favourite TV shows in recent years was Chuck. For those of you unfamiliar with the show: Chuck is about a regular geeky guy who one day wakes up to an email from his long estranged roommate from Stanford and opens it. Once he does a video starts playing and the next thing he knows he's lying on the floor of his bedroom with a huge headache. Little does he know he's downloaded a super computer into his brain and he is now wanted as a valuable asset for the CIA and other TLA's. Not only does the Intersect, the previously mentioned super computer, allow him access to amazing amounts of data, he also has sudden access to incredible fighting skills. The series is wildly entertaining and if you haven't checked it out, you really should. But how does this relate to Lives of Tao in any way, shape, or form? Because if anything, Lives of Tao's protagonist Roen, reminds me of Chuck a lot. Only instead of the Intersect, Roen is possessed by a symbiotic alien called Tao.

Of course, there are more differences than having an alien instead of a computer in his brain. Where Chuck sort of instantaneously has these new skills, we follow Roen during his quite extensive, if somewhat expedited training. I really enjoyed this aspect of the story, not just because it lent some veracity to the story - one doesn't go from overweight slob to fit super-agent overnight - but also because it gave Roen and Tao time to get to know one another and as a consequence so does the reader. This latter is quite important as the book is very much dependent on the chemistry between Roen and Tao. Roen is quite sympathetic; a thirty-something single guy, working a job that makes him miserable and pretty much going through the motions, he's quite ready for finding a new purpose in life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Steve R
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a story that starts well, with an interesting (though not very novel) premise and the first few chapters did make me want to read more. Sadly the quality and interest dropped off, I think because the writing got rather lazy and very simple minded. Without the early tension between the leads, it became a rather rote "action" story - see bad guy, get chased by bad guy, fight with bad guy - with rather too much inconsistency - one minute unable to do anything, the next being unbeatable. It got rather tedious and though I read through to the end, this was again weak. I can't recommend this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book! 2 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's a perfectly formed piece of fiction and a joy to read. I stayed up till 5am to finish it because I couldn't bear to put it down.

This is the story of how a pizza loving, under-achieving slob (Roen) has his mind and body invaded by an ancient alien with an agenda (Tao). They're stuck with each other until Roen dies - and unless he puts in a lot of hard physical work, that's not likely to be very long at all. It's time for Roen to man up. He's not keen.

Tao is a major player in his faction's ongoing war against their erstwhile brother aliens. They can't survive the Earth's atmosphere outside of a host body and they can only move bodies if the old one dies. Jumping into Roen was an act of desperation on Tao's part but his inconvenient morals won't let him send a kill order just so that he can transfer out. The war is hotting up and his superiors need him back in the game ASAP. They don't much care who his host is as long as he is capable of getting the job done. They're pretty sure Roen isn't; and soon Tao is fighting on three fronts - the Genjix, his impatient bosses and his unwilling host.

Roen's life is changing whether he likes it or not. Could it turn out that he likes the new one better?

This book was funny, absorbing and inventive. I really hope there's a sequel in the pipeline.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Entertaining Debut 11 May 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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...

Any book that begins with a tense rooftop standoff swiftly followed by an unexpectedly dramatic escape has got to be worth a shot as far as I'm concerned. Spy type thrills and escapades are always a great deal of fun. The trickiest question though is how exactly do you make spies more exciting? Let's be honest, they are quite exciting already. The answer, which The Lives of Tao successfully confirms, is to add two groups of ancient feuding aliens into the mix.

I like Roen Tan. He's spent his life letting things just happen to him; reacting, but never being proactive. I think it's fair to say I found it pretty easy to relate. Meeting Tao has a profound effect on his life and anything suddenly seems possible. To paraphrase a very wise man* "The world you think you know is not real". Just imagine, you're living your life. Going about your business. You might even be a bit bored of the constant grind. Suddenly, your entire world-view is wrong and everything you thought you knew is fundamentally different.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great debut read, looking forward to No.2
Just finished The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu. I’m a bit late to the party with this one and I don’t know why I’ve waited so long but now I can pretty much read the entire series... Read more
Published 26 days ago by lynnsbooks
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read--with lots of action and very cool characters
A great read--with lots of action and very cool characters! Chu's writing is crisp and I couldn't put this book down (and finished it in three days) !
Published 2 months ago by Etan Ilfeld
1.0 out of 5 stars though they do exist and have some function beyond love interest....
This is a book that I was unable to complete, though I did struggle through the majority.

I found the main character (or possibly, given the nature of the plot, I should... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Gregori Fairchild
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, but not tempted enough to buy the second volume
Its OK but not tempted enough to buy the second volume unless that comes down substantially in price.
Published 6 months ago by Joe
3.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read
I lied this book. The ending was a bit odd, but a good holiday read.
Published 8 months ago by Kenneth A. Gordon
2.0 out of 5 stars Repetitive
After having finished reading all the Culture books I was searching for something new when I found a review of this book. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Dmitry D
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant - loving it
I finished this book and am onto the sequel. All I can say is that I loved this first book. The highlight is the internal dialogues taking place between the Quasing and their... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun espienage romp with a twist
The deus ex machina creaks rather to start with, but as the culture and backstory is laid in place it becomes more natural. I'm certainly looking forward to a the next instalment.
Published 18 months ago by Richard I Urwin
5.0 out of 5 stars differant but brilliant
Something abit a new
Something a bit differant
Anyone who coached Genghis Khan can't be all bad!!
oh and there's girls and guns and blowing stuff up!!
Published 20 months ago by Mumbles Jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this
New author for me, and one that I hope to read more of. This was an exciting book with twists and turns along the route. I liked the multi character characters. Read more
Published 20 months ago by IMCPU2
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