Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Deaths of Tao (The Lives of Tao #2), by Wesley Chu

Angry Robot Books, ISBN 9780857663320, October 2013


Wesley Chu is a nominee for the 2015 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer.

I did not expect to like this book.

Honestly.

Invisible energy-being aliens that live as parasites inside human beings, and have been manipulating human history and evolution since at least Gigantopithecus. Two factions, one of which regards human beings simply as tools, and is happy to advance their plan of preserving themselves as a species and, maybe, getting home to Quasar, where they from millions of years ago, and the other which is friendly to humans and wants to advance their plans in ways helpful to both species.

The bad guy aliens, the Genjix, are intentionally causing global warming to produce an atmosphere that will let them live outside human beings. They've also got a human breeding program to produce ideal hosts that would do Hitler proud.

And this is the second book of a trilogy, so that I was coming into it without vital background story to follow what was going on initially.

All in all, I nearly bounced off this book.

And then, thirty or forty pages in, the characters started to matter to me, and their problems became interesting, and a bit further in, I stopped caring that this is a story type I normally find really dumb and annoying. What can you do? I kept reading. Best New Writer? That seems a fair conclusion, even with the slates this year having possibly kept other good candidates off the ballot.

Go buy yourself some Wesley Chu to read. But I do recommend starting with The Lives of Tao, rather than the Deaths.

Highly recommended.