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The Deaths of Tao: Tao Series Book Two Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013


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The Deaths of Tao: Tao Series Book Two + The Lives of Tao: Tao Series Book One + The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (October 29, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857663321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857663320
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"For The Lives of Tao: 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, author of Nexus

 "Filled with non-stop action and brilliant asides on the history of our species, the book is sure to thrill and amuse." - Ken Liu, author of The Grace of Kings

"Just your usual 'I've got an immensely wise alien in my head who wants me to become and 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 Jumpers series

"At times treading close to outright comedy, this is a fast-paced sf adventure that is, if you look at it from the right angle, more accurately a political thriller posing as an sf adventure. Fans of the first novel will have a great time, and newcomers should have no trouble picking up the plot’s various threads as the story moves along. Great stuff."
-Booklist Starred Review

"The relationships between humans and their alien passengers continue to fascinate in this sequel to The Lives of Tao."
- Library Journal (November 15, 2013)

Praise for The Lives of Tao:

"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, author of Nexus

"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

"Just your usual 'I've got an immensely wise alien in my head who wants me to become and 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 Jumpers series

"In Wesley Chu's debut novel you meet an unlikely hero in the form of Roen, an out-of-shape, self-loathing, under-achieving computer geek. He is soon transformed into a confident, lean, mean fighting machine under the guidance and influence of the ancient alien Tao, who has inhabited his body and is now working hard to get Roen in shape for an important mission - nothing less than to take on the Genjix and save the planet from an evil plot of destruction. 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 winning publisher of Buzzcity Press

About the Author

Wesley Chu's best friend is Michael Jordan, assuming that best friend status is earned by a shared television commercial. If not, then his best friend is his dog Eva who he can often be seen riding like a trusty steed through the windy streets of Chicago.

Unfortunately, Chu's goals of using Hanes underwear commercials to launch a lucrative career following in Marky Mark's footsteps came to naught. Despite phenomenal hair and manicured eyebrows, his inability to turn left led his destiny down another road. Instead of creating new realities with his skills as a thespian, Chu would dazzle audiences with his pen. Well, it's a computer really, but the whole technology thing really sucks for metaphors. He had spirit fingers maybe?

In 2014, Wesley Chu was shortlisted for the John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award. Chu's debut novel from Angry Robot Books, The Lives of Tao, earned him a Young Adult Library Services Association Alex Award and a Science Fiction Goodreads Choice Award Finalist slot. The sequel, The Deaths of Tao, continues the story of secret agent Roen Tan and his sarcastic telepathically bonded alien, Tao.

Chu is currently working on the third book in the Tao series, The Rebirths of Tao, due out later this year. He's also recently finished the first draft of a new novel from Tor Books called Time Salvagers (Title TBD), featuring an energy stealing time traveler with addiction issues.

Customer Reviews

Very well written and great concept.
Amazon Customer
On the whole the book was very good and I can’t wait to read the next one.
Timothy Pecoraro
Here I was enjoying this really good book, when all of a sudden it ended.
SonnyfromPa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Scott Knight on October 29, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Deaths of Tao is the sequel to Wesley Chu's The Lives of Tao. It is every bit as entertaining as the first, although in an entirely different way. The buddy cop interplay between Roen Tan and Tao, the Quasing that lives inside him, is still there. The humor and secret history of the world run throughout this book, as well. Zoras, Tao, or Baji open each chapter with a little more history of the Quasing.

One difference, though, comes in the fact that The Deaths of Tao is a second book, and not an origin tale like the first one. This allows Chu to expand the scope of the story. Roen's training and introduction to the world of the Quasing, including the war between Prophus and Gengix (the two Quasing factions), take up the majority of the first book. Now the reader sees the larger story taking place and is exposed to a more in-depth look at the Gengix's plans and the Prophus' attempts to thwart them.

There are also three characters providing the perspective. In addition to Roen and Tao, Jill (Roen's wife) and Baji take a lead role. This is a nice change, because Roen's view tends to be skewed. The Gengix view is shown through the eyes of Enzo and Zoras, who played a part in the first book. Using three point-of-view characters lets Chu take the action around the globe. It also allows him to show simultaneous events playing out as the war between the Quasing reaches critical level.

Another change in this book is that Chu was able to show how the relationship between Quasing and human host was different for each pairing. The personality of the human played a part in this, but so did the personality of the Quasing. A secondary character demonstrated what would happen if the wishes of the Quasing did not line up with the human.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer L. Jones on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I read The Lives of Tao, I noted there didn't seem to be much difference in the moralities of the two warring factions. In the second book, that becomes all too clear. The bad guys are horribly, world-endingly bad. And it's awesome.

The text isn't without problems (like when someone jumps from a second story height and just rolls easily to their feet as they land) but I was having too much fun to care about those minor points (you know it's good when you notice a detail like that and think, oh who cares, keep reading!). The end unveils a few twists that really caught me off guard. More awesome.

I'm a big Wesley Chu fan, in no small part because he's one of the very few authors writing contemporary science fiction right now. The only other book that I've seen coming close to that is Brandon Sanderson's Steelheart. Personally, I would love to see contemporary/urban science fiction become a much more popular subgenre. And I think Wesley Chu could help make that happen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Hamby on March 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I strongly suspect that much of my frustration and disappointment with this work (and the first in the season) is I feel as if I am forced to watch someone, not so much squander, as fail to deliver on his rather significant potential.

Chu has come up with a great premise. And for the most part delivers on it. But the main, and huge, problem for me is that he seems to almost get tired of his own story. In the first book, Chu deftly crafted plot and characters in a fast paced tale that suddenly became a vague rambling laundry list of events as a bridge between the set up of the plot and world to the over worked climax.

In this case I feel the same type of treatment has been applied. In this case though it is the overall book that is the bridge. The leap ahead in time between the first book and the next actually detracts from the interest the characters and their story generated for me in the first book. And again I was left with the notion that Chu was more interested in writing and delivering certain scenes (albeit well conceived and well executed scenes for the most part), than piecing them together into the narrative they (and readers) deserved.

Still Chu has a unique ability and his imagination is fun and clever if sometimes a bit too mired into the here and now of pop culture. He is definitely an author I will continue to have the chance to disappoint me. Or hopefully not.

All in all he reminds me of a kid whose enthusiasm outpaces his ability to deliver. Knowing how patronizing it sounds I still feel the urge to tell him to stop. Re group. Take a deep breath. And then proceed. Because I do want to see what he comes up with as he matures as a person (I'm not saying he is immature by any means by the way) and as a writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SarahSaysRead on November 3, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit, that this is not what I was expecting in the sequel, but it totally worked. The story is split among three different perspectives this time – Roen & Tao, Jill & Baji, and an angry Genjix duo of Enzo & Zoras. Even though Roen & Tao are my favorite, using three wildly different characters stationed in different parts of the world gave the story an epic international arena to play out in. The war between the Genjix and the Prophus is heating up, and things are looking bad for the Prophus. But it’s up to them to put a stop to the next phase in the Genjix plans, because if they succeed it could mean the death of everyone.

This book is not as light-hearted and funny as the first book. S*** got REAL, and while there were a few moments of banter between Roen and Tao, for the most part everyone is too busy fighting the war to be joking around. I missed the humor, but things were so intense that I was flying through the pages and biting my nails. What it lacked in humor it made up for in excitement and suspense. And there is no Second Book Syndrome here – no filler, no boredom. Second books are hard, and it’s really impressive that Chu, a relatively new author, managed to increase the tension and leave me with almost no complaints.

The Deaths of Tao was a wild, action-packed ride that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. There NEEDS to be a third book. The last couple pages had some absolutely crazy plot twists and I need more. Until then, I’ll be over here wondering about the fate of the planet in the aftermath of this book.
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More About the Author

Wesley Chu's best friend is Michael Jordan, assuming that best friend status is earned by a shared television commercial. If not, then his best friend is his dog Eva who he can often be seen riding like a trusty steed through the windy streets of Chicago.

Wesley Chu is a nominee for the John W. Campbell Best New Writer Award. Chu's debut novel, The Lives of Tao, earned him a Young Adult Library Services Association Alex Award and a Science Fiction Goodreads Choice Award Finalist slot. The sequel, The Deaths of Tao, continues the story of secret agent Roen Tan and his sarcastic telepathically bonded alien, Tao.

Chu has two books scheduled for 2015. The last book in the Tao trilogy, The Rebirths of Tao, is coming out April 7th. Time Salvager, published by Tor Books, featuring an energy stealing time traveler with addiction issues, is slated for July 7th, 2015.

Website: www.wesleychu.com
Twitter: wes_chu

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