The Lives of Tao : Tao

  • by Wesley Chu
  • Narrated by Mikael Naramore
  • Series: Tao
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When out-of-shape IT technician Roen wakes up and starts hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumes he’s losing it.
He isn’t.
As of last night, he 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. Over the millennia his people have trained human heroes to be great leaders, to advance our species at a rate far beyond what it would have achieved on its own. 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.
So now Roen must train to be a hero worthy of his unwanted companion. Like that’s going to end up well.…


What the Critics Say

"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not funny, just a lot of fighting

Somehow I got the idea that this book was going to be funny, and it wasn’t. It was really pretty tedious, too much detail about how an out-of-shape IT guy has to go through a personal training regime in order to be an adequate “host” for an alien who has decided to co-habitate in his body with him. There are glimmers of an interesting, millennia-long backstory of how these aliens have meddled in human affairs, but it is told, not shown, and basically amounts to a bunch of supposedly “advanced” beings who cannot figure out how to make peace with each other. The bad guys are cardboard, and the good guys are not much better, they are a bunch of power hungry, vengeful kids fighting in a playground, only their playground is all of human history.

If you like endless descriptions of workouts, handgun training, martial arts training, and fights between people who spend all their time learning to shoot guns and throw kicks, this book is for you.

If you like complex stories with characters you actually care about, move along to the next book on your “to read” list.

[I listened to this as an audio book read by Mikael Naramore. I wish the reader would have differentiated more between the voices. Since a lot of the dialog happens inside the characters’ heads as they discuss things telepathically with the aliens who are inside them, it was frequently difficult to tell whether they were talking with their “inside” voices or their “outside” voices. Presumably this was done in different fonts in the print version, which would have made some passages clearer but ultimately would not have improved the book, in my opinion.]
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- Julie W. Capell "The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history"

Realistic take on secret agent with aliens

Stereotypical overweight programmer gets to live out dream of being trained as a secret agent. Only it's a realistic version of a secret agent with all the boring parts and there's an alien voice inside his head. I was worried it would be too similar to The Host but it's completely different.
Funny and was refreshing to read something with modern day pop culture & geeky references. First half should be used for workout motivation showing the large amount of work involved in getting an overweight couch nerd into shape.
I think it went too far with the amount of influence aliens had on human evolution. According to it every single historical event or person was influenced by the aliens. Has a somewhat surprising ending and written with intention of a sequel.
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- Nathan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-30-2013
  • Publisher: Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio