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The Deaths of Tao: Tao Series Book Two Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2013
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"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)
“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.”
“The Deaths of Tao is as funny, loveable and entertaining as the first book, and adds even more depth to the characters, story and themes.”
– Fantasy Faction
“…the end result is a thrilling novel that without quirky aliens would sit triumphantly in Ian Fleming or Vince Flynn’s wheelhouse.”
– Staffer’s Review
“Perhaps the strongest part of The Deaths of Tao is the fact that Chu never lets the story get bogged down. Every time he takes the story forward he does it with an action scene in mind, and this trick rips the reader through from start to finish.”
– Buzzy Mag
“A great follow-up to a great book with a killer emotional ending.”
– Founding Fields
“The Deaths of Tao is one great sequel, firmly establishing Wesley Chu as one of the hottest writers in science fiction today.”
“The Deaths of Tao has a lot going for it, not to mention a lot going on. With the different perspectives, the alien factions in conflict, and the political and historical elements – there was literally never a dull moment.”
– My Shelf Confessions
“Wesley Chu has developed something of a rarity in which there is a mixture of action, espionage, humor, and some romance that blends very smoothly together and gets the reader interested in the characters themselves and not just the endgame of the book.”
– Comic Book Therapy
“A decent sequel whose ending made me want to pick up the last book right away.”
– It’s All About Books
“Chu knows how to blend humor, thrills, terror and romantic angst into one entertaining package, and I can’t wait for more.”
– Books, Bones, & Buffy
“Wesley Chu brings just the right amount of comic-book style to a setting of serious sci-fi blended well with secret-agent thriller action, and all starring a reluctant hero weveryone will love. It’s a stellar combination!”
– Popcorn Reads
“It accomplishes that which you rarely see in a sequel: it surpasses the first book. Funny and poignant, at times heart-wrenching, this was a kindle bruiser as I had to read on.”
“Thriller-style plotting, a fine blend of gentle humor and sharp suspense.”
– Joe’s Geek Fest
“Jam-packed with espionage and intrigue, intense action and fighting scenes punctuated by humor at just the right moments, and characters that are well worth becoming emotionally invested in, it never seems to falter in pace or flow. Joy, hope, humor, fear, sadness, are all expertly conveyed, sometimes even within a single paragraph.”
“Wesley Chu obviously is a host for a Quasing of superior power, fans of book one will not be disappointed, his ability to not only craft an intelligent sci-fi but include historical features, humour and tie it up neatly into a mile a minute spy thriller, the fellow is certainly rather talented.”
– Sleeping Muses
“Wesley Chu has proven his versatility with his sophomore effort and all his gambling appears to have paid off. His status as a rising star in the genre world hasn’t dimmed a Watt.”
– The 52 Book Reviews
“While The Lives of Tao was fun, The Deaths of Tao is fascinating. It looks like Chu has taken everything he learned from writing the first book, polished it, and really threw himself into the task of writing something with more depth and a harder edge.”
– Bookworm Blues
“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.”
– Sarah Says Read
“The Deaths of Tao turned out to be a worthy follow-up to its predecessor! In many ways, I liked it even more than the first book; after all, the scope of the story has gotten bigger, but it still retains all the humor and action that first drew me in.”
“…this is another great book by Chu. It has plenty of action, it has plenty of humor, and plenty of plot.”
– Wilder’s Book Review
“For fast paced, extraterrestrial action and adventure sure to endure the test of time and the science fiction genre. Excellently written with a great sense of urgency and characters that are organic in their evolution, The Deaths of Tao is a Fall must-have sequel.”
– Toonari Post
“The shades of grey in all of these issues are what make the story so interesting. Decisions and mistakes are made by everyone, but beyond that, everyone’s making their own choices at the same time. It’s all so very dramatic. I love it.”
– Over the Effing Rainbow
“This time around, the storytelling is more dramatic, the action is far more brutal and the stakes are a hell of a lot higher.”
– Every Read Thing
“The ending was jaw dropping, to say the least.”
– Shelf Inflicted
“Chu’s writing style is very easy to read, and the action flows steadily on. I look forward to seeing what he does in the future.”
– Being a Big Sandwich
“The Deaths of Tao is just as explosively written, thrilling, and fun as its predecessor. Thank you Wesley Chu! Often times sophomore efforts are easy to pass over, become unnecessary or obscure. The Deaths of Tao is an exception to that rule.”
– Patrice’s Reading Corner!
“I highly recommend both books as well thought-out alien science fiction. I would imagine we haven’t seen the last of Tao. Or have we?”
– Troubled Scribe
“Having not read the first book in this series made this book all that more impressive to me. I was coming to the world, characters, and setting completely fresh and the author effortless made me aware of everything that I needed to know to enjoy the story.”
– Among the Wreckage
“As I finish this discussion of Deaths of Tao I realize there’s not the kind of effusive joy that followed my reading of Chu’s debut. It may come across as disappointment. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a fundamentally different kind of novel, one focused on story telling, not low hanging nerd-makes-good fruit that so appeals to genre readers. Simply put, Wesley Chu leveled up as a writer. If his third book can capture the magic of the first with the technical execution of the second, he’ll be among the elite.”
– Staffer’s Book Review
“Looking for a good book? The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu is a thrilling, original modern/urban sci-fi book that will grab your attention and keep you reading all the way in to the next book.”
– Looking For a Good Book?
“Exciting and edge-of-your-seat compelling.”
– Fangs for the Fantasy
“Go forth and read. And believe. And have fun..”
– Neth Space
“Chu has a wonderful ability to blend action and suspense with humor and sweetness. This is, hands down, a great book to read. I highly recommend you read the first book, The Lives of Tao, first.This whole series has proven to be highly entertaining of 5 hoots!”
– Purple Owl Reviews
About the Author
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 2015, 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. His next series, Time Salvager, published by Tor Books, is scheduled for release July 7th, 2015.
Top customer reviews
My only real problem with The Lives of Tao was that for a being who is millions of years old, Tao seemed amazingly immature. That negative aspect of this story was amplified greatly in the second book. The first thing that popped into my head was that both of the warring groups of Quasing acted like high school kids. After finishing the book, I thought that it was even worse. I was really disappointed that Roen and Jill had married and had a child, but were now separated. Despite Tao's purported affection for his hosts, he continued to do them wrong. His last act was probably the worst.
I had really high hopes for this series, but that fatal flaw; that a race of beings that have lived for millions of years and experienced countless lives living with practically every species on the planet could still act like selfish children, kind of ruined it for me. I had planned to continue on straight through all three books, but now I'll probably move on in search of something better. I'll probably come back and finish the third book later, but my hopes are not too high.
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.
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.
In this volume our former hero Roen is now skinny (with a tapeworm? since he eats 4,000 calories a day), and some kind of super ninja, arms dealer, conspiracy theorist (he owns a former missile silo stocked with spears), also alienated from his wife, Jill. She is now some sort of super politico in the Senate in D.C. (and really, NO one there works until 3 in the morning as a matter of routine - who would they talk to). And they dumped their kid with her parents (in California) - boo hoo, weepy phone calls, from both of them, eeuuww. Then there are the training sessions - every tedious, endless, repeated...I am as sick of it as the characters are. Meanwhile, in Taiwan, Roen is - not training at least, but lots and LOTS of tedious, pointless, sitting in safe houses, eating bad chow, never knowing what is going on, you get the idea.
Oh, and the bad guys are winning, big time. Until, some zillion year old super baddie genius parasite, well he chooses an entitled fashion model super stud to be his host, and shazam, discovers why 20 something actors and pop stars and jocks who get too much money go OFF THE RAILS. I guess he never in all those millions of years saw Entourage, or TMZ. I mean, really, so the intern is super hot, that does not mean, make him the CEO.
So everything gets worse and worse, and nobody really seems to get much done (I started to expect one of the characters to say "Chirst, will this book never end?" as they got so frustrated.)
Ideally, all this should allow some room for personal growth (how loooong will it be until a "host" gets sick of his or her parasite) and move people into new roles, showcase moments of revealing development. But no. Too much plot gets in the way of the story, hundreds of pages worth.
Skip this one and go to the end - you will miss nothing.