Goodreads Choice 2013 Nominee - Science Fiction
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.
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 ]
Table of Contents
"...The Lives of Tao is really fun to read. It has all the energy and excitement of a big budget summer action movie but an intricate enough plot that it comes away as a smart, sci-fi thriller."
-Every Read Thing
"For a first novel, I think THE LIVES OF TAO was very well done and I will definitely keep my eye out for the next one. Between the humor and the originality of the story, I would certainly recommend reading it."
-Lisa, Wilder's Book Review
"THE LIVES OF TAO marvelously casts all of war, science, politics, religion, and economics into a stark new light. It switches well between action-packed scenes and philosophical discussions about human nature and the pitfalls of manipulation, even guided by the best of intents. All of it is spiced with excellent wit and humor that should have readers looking forward to Wesley Chu's planned sequel, THE DEATHS OF TAO."
-Josh Vogt, The Examiner
"By the end of the books I was close to tears, which proves my emotional investment in the characters and their fates. I wish every book made me care about the characters as much as THE LIVES OF TAO."
-I Will Read Books
“I would highly recommend this book to fans who like their espionage tinged with sci-fi, or vice-versa.”
-Scott, Being a Big Sandwich
"We get the full sci-fi feeling combined with the spy genre without either side getting diluted or ignored."
-Tome of Geek
"What's not to like? Nothing, as it turns out. Lives of the Tao is an engaging read from start to finish."
“Vividly entertaining, this is a book that looks past the lively and thrilling glamour of life as an international spy and also merges several genres together into a cohesive whole to tell a story that rocks from start to finish.”
-The Founding Fields
"As a novel, The Lives of Tao is a super-hero, science fiction, alien contact, and spy thriller all wrapped into one. It’s also funny and thrilling with a touch of a buddy comedy thrown in. I got hooked right away and when all was said and done, I can safely declare it as my favorite novel of 2013 so far."
-Matt Hughes, Adventures in SciFi Publishing
"[The Lives of Tao]...is full of action packed goodness and tells a intriguing story that would be a crime to miss. (9.5/10)"
-Speculative Book Review
A" perfect date book! Action, comedy, romance, cool factor. Bill and I read this one together over the course of a month. Though we tried to pace ourselves, by the end we couldn't put it down."
-Katrina, Afterglow Book Reviews
"I laughed myself silly reading The Lives of Tao and, at the same time, chewed my fingernails to the quick."
"I was gripped from the first paragraph, finished it within a day and only put it down because your sister-in-law’s 30th birthday isn’t the sort of occasion you can miss."
-Feathers and Tea
"Wesley’s Chu’s debut novel is fast-paced, clever, and leaves you longing for the next installment."
-Carrie Cuinn, SF Signal
“Just your usual “I’ve got an immensely wise alien in my head who wants me to become an international man of mystery” story. Which is to say, Page-turning homage to other classic SF like Hal Clement’s Needle. Recommended.”
-Steven Gould, author of the Jumper series
"Filled with non-stop action and brilliant asides on the history of our species, the book is sure to thrill and amuse."
- Ken Liu, Nebula Award winning author of The Paper Menagerie
This book is high-octane spy vs spy action with a sly sense of humor. Pure pleasure from beginning to end. Highly recommended!
-Ann Vandermeer, Hugo winning editor of Weird Tales and British Fantasy Award publisher of Buzzcity Press
“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
"Wesley Chu is my hero... he has to be the coolest science fiction writer in the world."
- Lavie Tidhar, World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama and The Bookman Histories.
"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
"One part Deep Space Nine, three parts Babylon Five, and two parts Chuck."
- Gini Koch, author of the Alien/Katherine "Kitty" Katt series
"A fast-paced, high-action SF mix of Jason Bourne meets the Hero's Journey, jam-packed with dark conspiracies, wild romance, ancient aliens, and a secret, globe-spanning war. Loved it!"
- Matt Forbeck, author of Amortals and Hard Times in Dragon City
“A totally original sci-fi thriller that will have you hooked from page one with both riveting action and a sly wit. This is a story of human history, the hidden powers that have shaped it, and one man’s transformation from complete nobody to a key fighter in the war for humanity’s future.”
-Ramez Naam, H.G. Wells Award winner and author of Nexus
WINNER 2014 Alex Award - YALSA