Monday, April 29, 2013

Q, R, S, T: Quasing, Roen, Sonya, and Tao

Spies and aliens: a match made in heaven.

Go read The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu (Couple's Review)

It's my first couple's review with my husband after we used THE LIVES OF TAO for our date book over the course of the past month. A chapter or two each date night kept us laughing and intrigued. But last night we couldn't put it down after our usual few chapters. There was too much at stake! We read for a couple hours and both very much loved the ending.

Quasing from Quasar

The Quasing are an alien life force that relies on a host for survival. They feed off enzymes in carbon-based life forms and also get protection from wind, cold, and heat within our relatively harder casings. Without a host, their thin membranes can be shattered by a strong gust of wind, scattered to the Eternal Seas. What's intriguing about these aliens? They've been here on Earth since before mankind, and have been instrumental in mankind's evolution. Once mankind reached an evolutionary stage where they could be equal partners, the Quasing split into two political factions: The Genjix and The Prophus. The Prophus tend to consider humans as partners worth protecting. The Genjix consider humans a means to an end. They are supremacists at the core. Author Wesley Chu did a thorough job creating this alien race. Hardcore sci-fi fans will find plenty to love in The Lives of Tao.

Roen Tan

One reviewer compared our protagonist Roen Tan to Brendan Fraser, such is the quirky lovable nature of his character. Much of the humor in the first half of the book is drawn from alien Tao's attempts at getting couch-potato Roen out on a running trail, or out of an attempted assassination alive. With all his faults, Roen is lovable because he is humble, compassionate, and loyal to friends. Also, the man can't lie to save his life... literally. Not exactly the type of person you'd cast in the role of international man of mystery. And yet it works so well in The Lives of Tao.

Sonya Lyte

Sonya shows up at Roen's door to train him in hand-to-hand combat and fire arms. Well matched to his goofy sense of humor, she also knows when to get deadly serious. Unlike Roen, she is not an accidental host, but the daughter of her quasing's former host. She was raised for this, and it's intensely personal for her. Like Roen comments at one point in the book, she would never be a Bond girl, but she'd be the one kicking James Bond's butt.


Formerly known as Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, and the creator of Tai Chi, Tao has been influencing human politics since before human politics existed. He has millennia-old enemies who hold millennia-old grudges, and his chubby, uninitiated host Roen Tan gets to deal with all of it. Tao has a few things in common with Roen. He's fiercely loyal to his hosts and his friends, even to a fault. He's compassionate, too, seeing his host as an equal partner and allowing Roen to choose whether or not he takes a wise, ancient alien's advice. Their relationship is mostly humorous at first, but deeply bound by shared loyalties and mutual appreciation in the end.

(Letters and concept of A to Z April challenge here)

Buy on Amazon: The Lives of Tao

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