The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu

Just finished reading The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu.  This is No.2 of a trilogy.  If you haven’t read The Lives of Tao (1) you need to as it’s very good (2) you definitely need to read it before you read this book or you will have no background context for the story and (3) there will undoubtedly be spoilers in this review so be warned.

The Deaths of Tao takes place approximately 5 years after the conclusion of the Lives of Tao.  To bring you up to speed.  Roen and Jill, who is now the host for Baji, have married, had a child and separated!  Roen has then gone AWOL and has been living out in the middle of nowhere in some sort of desered bunker type affair where he spends his time investigating Tao’s conspiracy theories.  Jill has a high falutin job in the Government as an advisor to a Senator where she uses her position on behalf of the Prophus to try and influence legislation and sanctions.

So, we’ve moved on a little.  Roen has had time to hone his skills a little even if he hasn’t been helping the cause at all, and the Prophus seem to be losing their battle for the planets and it’s human inhabitants.  The Genjix are becoming ever stronger.  The hosts they use are elite people trained from birth for the responsibility, they have masses of willing people working for them and their scientists are working on a secret project that will have huge ramifications.

Again, I’m not going to elaborate on the plot as these books are packed with intrigue which is best discovered as you read.  We yet again have opening chapter headers that take us back through time and bring us the history of the aliens from arrival to date.  On top of this the story this time is told from more POVs which I really enjoyed as it gives you a real feel for the people you’re dealing with.  You get to see the history between the Prophus and the Genjix and how the civil war came about and more than that, spending time reading from inside the mind of a senior member of the Genjix was very revealing.

In the first book I had issues about why the humans were helping the Prophus, why the aliens were in this civil war together and I even had niggles as to whether the Genjix were as bad as they were made out and wondered if we were really only getting to see one half of the story.  All of these issues get resolved beautifully in this instalment.  And, yes, the Genjix do appear to be every bit as bad as we’re given to believe!  I love it when I have queries, continue with the series and my niggles are answered.

There is again plenty of action.  Chu has a great way of writing tension into the story and action scenes that flow well and are easy to envisage and the double narrative between the host and the alien all help to add to this drama.  We get a bit of a closer look at the politics although not enough to become the main focus, just enough to give you the bigger picture of just how much power the Genjix now wield and there is also a much more ‘human’ element to the story with the inclusion of Roen’s family unit.  We get a lot more insight into their inner feelings, how they really feel about each other – how their resident aliens feel about them, and how guilty they feel not just about the wrong turn things have taken but about the fact that they don’t have time now to spend with their son.  All in all it made me feel much more attached to them.  I cared about what goes on and when the two were apart I felt concerned about how it would all turn out.  It’s something of an achievement to make you feel for these characters – especially when we’ve just jumped forward a few years and missed all the in between years and the good times.

We end it all with a rather jaw dropping finale which completely changes the nature of everything.  Everything both sides have worked towards and everything that will now take place in the future.  I was quite gobsmacked and can’t wait to read the next!

Basically, there’s so much going on here.  Alien intrigue, espionage, war, adventure, politics, well, everything!  It’s undoubtedly different than the first – which probably had slightly more humour – but we couldn’t really stay in that situation forever and the time lapse has worked well to bring the characters to where they need to be at.

I definitely recommend this series.  It’s got a great concept and has been well executed with style and humour.

16 Responses to “The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu”

  1. Tammy

    I almost wish I time to reread this book before I start on the Rebirths of Tao, but I don’t. I’ll have to check out my review to refresh my memory. Awesome series, sad it’s ending!

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, it’s sad to come to the end of any good series – but Chu has a pretty nice looking book lined up for release so it’ll be interesting to see how that compares.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Stephen P. Bianchini

    Hello Lynn, it’s on my desk right now… can’t wait to go through it after I read your review 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a series that seems to get better with each book. I’m reading the third now and I’m impressed with how each book brings something new.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Fabulous review, you see why I couldn’t wait to dive into Rebirths of Tao 🙂 Glad you enjoyed this one, and yeah the Genjix are eeeeevil. And evil Enzo!

  4. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    So glad you enjoyed this one! It is a bit darker, slightly less funny than the first, but the humor is still there and incredibly well done/placed. Love these books!

  5. Danya @ Fine Print

    AHHH I’m so behind! I promised myself I’d catch up on this series before book 3 comes out, but you know, life! It gets in the way! I’m so glad to hear that you’re loving these books – we seem to like the same kind of humour so I think that’s a good sign.

    • lynnsbooks

      Life does get in the way I have to agree! We definitely share the same taste in books which is great – it means if I see a book on yours I pretty much want it!
      Lynn 😀

  6. RoseReadsNovels

    I’m adding this series to the list, thanks

    • lynnsbooks

      Excellent – I hope you enjoy it and I will look out for your review.
      Lynn 😀

  7. jenclair

    This series is definitely on my TBR list! It certainly seems to have pleased a lot of readers. Love intrigue and action!

    • lynnsbooks

      There’s such a lot going on, each book seems to bring something new to the plate and frankly each book seems to get better than the last so it’s definitely a great series.
      Lynn 😀

  8. Tabitha (Not Yet Read)

    Heck in my mind both sides are a bit evil in their way one just not malicious about it. I Look forward to seeing what you think of the third book

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s a really good series – I’m loving it and have started No.3.
      Lynn 😀

  9. In review: 2015 so far… |

    […] of Tao by Wesley Chu, The Deaths of Tao by Wesley Chu, The Rebirths of Tao by Wesley Chu (bit of a cheat here but I read all three in […]

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