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The Deaths of Tao Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013


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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: 6.8 x 4.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It makes a kind of sense, if you think about it. Some of humanity’s greatest people and some of its most historically important have been hosts to an ancient alien species, the Quasing, whose two warring factions, the Prophus and the Genjix, have influenced the course of human history since, well, since before there was human history. Now, in this follow-up to The Lives of Tao (2013), the Prophus and the Genjix are close to finding a way to extricate themselves from their symbiotic relationship with humanity and finally, after countless millennia, leave Earth and get back to their homeworld. Unfortunately, it’s possible that the aliens’ freedom might only be achieved with the annihilation of mankind. Does Roen Tan, the hapless IT worker who’s become a soldier in the war between the Prophus and the Genjix, have what it takes to make sure that doesn’t happen? 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. --David Pitt

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, 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

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.

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

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Popular Discussion Topics

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  • "Characters" 13
  • "Funny" 8
  • "Action" 8
  • "Writing" 8
  • "Depth" 3
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 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 link rae on November 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Apart from all the obvious plus points already mentioned in the other reviews,
finally a narrative that succeeds in explaining history as it happened:
canon material !
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1 of 1 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A return to Wesley Chu's incredibly entertaining universe of ancient aliens, secret agent human hosts and a covert war that has been waged since the beginning of time. This time we are following Roen Tan's wife Jill and her Quasing Baji almost as much as we are riding along with Roen and Tao. The relationship between Roen and Jill is a major element of the story; it is interwoven into the ongoing secret war with all the action and humor of the first book.

I tore through the second book faster than the first; I am torn but I think I actually enjoyed it more. The familiarity with the major players certainly allowed me to jump in with both feet, and I was actually sad when I finished it. I take some small solace in the fact that I expect a sequel; I won't risk ruining the experience by explaining why.

I love this series. I love the premise. I love the characters. I love the writing style, the dialogue between the aliens & their "hosts", it's all so well done. I highly recommend The Deaths of Tao to anyone that enjoyed The Life of Tao. If you haven't read the first book, you will not regret giving it a read. It's excellent as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hank Ross on March 26, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just read the first two books over a stretch of late nights—an exercise that has affected my ability to earn a living. Fast-paced, engrossing, fun, disturbing, and lots of other adjectives. All the things that make great SF. Well done, my friend. And hats off to your Quasing as well!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SonnyfromPa on March 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jeez, what an ending. Here I was enjoying this really good book, when all of a sudden it ended.

Mr. Chu, sir, you got me with the best ending that I have read in my recent memory.

Wonderful book, this one built on the first in ways that I didn't expect, weaving a rich compelling alternate reality. I highly recommend this one and hope it is at least part of a trilogy. For a first try these first two are incredible!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Seurot on February 1, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The sequel to the amazing Lives of Tao skips over the typical sophomore slumps and is another entertaining thrill ride. The story is set a few years later after the first novel takes place and continues the shadow war between the Genjix and the Prophus. Those who enjoyed the first book's Roen/Tao relationship will be sure to enjoy this one too. I had to finish this book before putting it down.
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