So, you’re a fat lazy IT guy who eats frozen dinners and goes to clubs to hit on chicks, but you can’t get laid. One night drunk out of your mind after striking out with the ladies and spending far to much money buying drinks. You get into your car; then quickly lean out the door to empty the contents of your stomach before breaking the law by driving home drunk. Only now you have a passenger, living inside you that has been around for centuries.
The Lives of Tao tells a story of a war being fought in the shadows between two factions of the same alien race that can only survive inside the bodies of creatures of earth. Both sides prep their “Hosts”, train them for the war before joining with them. Roen Tan; the fat IT guy wasn’t one of those who had been chosen. Circumstance caused him to be drafted into the conflict.
I enjoyed this book immensely, the idea of a symbiont / parasite that combines with a human and talks to them inside their head isn’t a new idea. There’s nothing groundbreaking about the book. It’s a sci-fi staple, but it’s a staple that I think was done well in this story. Both alien factions have their ways of doing things, and they want to stay hidden since humans would go crazy and try to destroy all of their kind if they were ever proved to exist. Which is the go to reason why aliens and monsters usually stay in the dark.
Does this take on the premise make the story stand out from the crowd? Not really; it hovers around the idea of being great but doesn’t make you go “Shit, that blew my mind!” What it does do is makes the experience of reading it enjoyable and quick. The story doesn’t drag on, some authors write in ways that make you weep due to having to fight through the words. Wesley Chu invited me to a party instead. We had fun together and I didn’t have to think hard while being entertained, and that’s what most people are after when they read fiction right? To be entertained.
If you enjoy Sci-Fi with a hint of secret agents this book is a good way to entertain yourself. If you like Sci-Fi in general you should check it out, beyond that it could be hit or miss. I liked it, and give it a grade of “Read it” but it wasn’t mind blowing enough for a “Here’s my Copy”