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The Lives of Tao

Written by: Wesley Chu
Narrated by: Mikael Naramore
Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins

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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.…

©2013 Wesley Chu (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-18

Good idea poorly executed

Unlikeable everyman character who spent the best part of 30 chapters moaning. I understand the authors desire to create a character that the reader can relate too but an incompetent moaner who isn't particularly proactive is not the best way to endear the character to a reader. Finally gave up at chapter 30 due to poor narration with dodgy accents and the long drive I was on was finally over. Maybe the story is more palatable as an actual book but for an audible purchase I give it a generous 3 out of 5

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ahmed
  • 21-10-18

interesting concept but poorly executed in my opin

the main characters little bit windy keeps messing up and people keep say no it's ok you doing good.. spoiler alert the ending is completely his fault. i found my self skipping most the time when he became annoying am not really interested in continuing with the series. again very interesting concept I love the idea of aliens & spies.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • A. S. Bradshaw
  • 05-12-15

Great Action Sci-Fi

Where does The Lives of Tao rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the top, the audio narration is great and the story fast paced

Who was your favorite character and why?

I think you'd have to say Tao, just a brilliant, deep character you come to know and love

Which scene did you most enjoy?

One of the scenes where Tao first starts training Roan

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There was a lot of laughter and the series in general has a lot of twists taking it places you wouldn't expect

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ildiko Haraszi
  • 29-07-15

Exciting and alive

I love the story, the narration is incredible, Mikael's range of voices and accents is really bringing characters alive.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Malcolm
  • Herne Bay, United Kingdom
  • 24-07-15

A good, fun read

Where does The Lives of Tao rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This book ranks well against my previous books. An interesting concept that makes schizophrenia sufferers wonder!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tau himself, having to put up with Roen. A good relationship all round..

Which character – as performed by Mikael Naramore – was your favourite?

As above

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me laugh out loud even in the sad parts....

Any additional comments?

A good all round listen, looking forward to the next book in the series...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • 23-07-15

Don't judge a book by its cover

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes - it's one of those books you wonder why you hadn't read it sooner

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Lives of Tao?

Just the bonding and growth of the 2 main characters

What does Mikael Naramore bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The voices and suspense - impressed with his differences in tone and characters

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Better than you think - slow to start but boom its Amazing whoop!!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mr R.
  • 10-07-15

Great story well read

Would you listen to The Lives of Tao again? Why?

Perhaps

What did you like best about this story?

The novel concept of aliens among us

Which character – as performed by Mikael Naramore – was your favourite?

Roan

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

No ....

Any additional comments?

Will try the others in the series

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • NM
  • London
  • 17-06-15

Loved it!

Don't be put off by any negative reviews - this is a really great book! I've already got the second one ready to go in case it ends when I'm in the car or running....I think I'd quite like to have Tao living inside me!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Lower Earley, United Kingdom
  • 28-05-15

Over sold

From the blurbs on the book cover and other reviews I was expecting a lot from this story.

It mostly delivered and the story, writing and performance were all very good. But the promised humour was not there. It had a wry sense of humour in places and was a bit amusing at times but it was mostly a straight up action story.

I liked it and am interested in a follow up but it won't make my top ten.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • GhostMuppet
  • Stratford-Upon-Avon, United Kingdom
  • 19-03-15

An alien war on earth that we know nothing about

I wanted a nice fun read after the heavy Gardens of the Moon, Malazan book 1.
The third book is out soon, and my book club have recommended this series a few times - so, I got the audible version.

And they were right.

This is a nice light, fun, interesting read/listen.

Essentially, Tao is an alien. His race crashed on this planet before the humans were around. They need a host to survive - so have spent millennia co-existing with humans and other life forms.
But there is a civil war going on between the 2 factions of aliens. Tao is a operative who loses his host and has to take emergence possession of the nearest vessel - an overweight male computer tech.
This is where the story really starts.

The book is essentially a normal bloke who thinks the secret operative business is like James Bond - boy is he in for a surprise.

This book did the job i was after - and i look forward to the second and third books.