The Rebirths of Tao (Tao #3) by Wesley Chu
Genre: Adult science fiction
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Release date: April 7 2015
Source: eARC from publisher via NetGalley
The nitty-gritty: A perfectly paced, action-packed ending to a top-notch series, with characters you won’t want to say goodbye to.
I will not say I told you so.
“About spending the money or buying that game?”
Both. I mean, you already had the previous version of that game. Is it that much different?
“It had new decals to download.”
You, somehow, have the greatest potential of all my hosts, and are one of the dumbest, all the same time.
“Gee, thanks for the confidence booster.”
On the contrary, it is brave stupid people who change the world. The smart ones are usually too smart to even try.
There’s nothing better than a favorite series ending on a high note, and I’m happy to report that The Rebirths of Tao has accomplished just that. For those of you who have started reading the Tao books, you are in for a treat. And for those of you who haven’t, well now you have a great excuse to binge read the whole thing at once! I enjoyed the hell out of this book, from the first page to the last. All my favorite characters from the first two books are back—Roen, Tao, and Jill—and they are joined by some new characters that I absolutely loved. In The Lives of Tao, Chu is developing his unique world, and so a lot of time is spent on introducing the reader to the Prophus and the Genjix and exactly why and how the Quasing (aliens) came to Earth. But now in the third book, with the details of the world-building well established, he spends more time on characterization.
By the time you get to the third book in a series, it’s very hard to avoid spoilers, so instead of laying out the story for you, I’m going to focus on talking about the things I love most, especially the characters, since they are the main reason I want you all to GO OUT AND READ THIS SERIES! Let’s just say the stakes are higher than ever this time around, with the war between the Genjix and the Prophus about to spill over and affect the survival of the human race. That’s right, people, humans are in terrible danger, so you can imagine how intense the action is in this story. Chu’s pacing, just like it was in the other two books, is nearly flawless. I don’t know if I’ve ever said that in a review before, but I’ll say it again. Chu’s pacing is PERFECT. I wouldn’t change a thing about it. And even though I would describe the story as fast-paced, it never felt as if he were rushing his story.
Chu has created quite the tangled web of political intrigue and the consequences of what happens when an alien race is set on taking over a planet. Not only are the two factions of Quasing fighting—the Prophus want to live in harmony with humans, and the Genjix want to wipe out the entire human race—but humans are now aware that the Quasing are living among them, and so a government organization called the Interpol Extraterrestrial Task Force (or IXTF as they call themselves) has formed to find those people who are Quasing hosts and round them up. Add in some complex interpersonal relationships between the characters and you have one juicy story.
By far the best parts of this book for me were the interactions between characters. I’ve already mentioned how much I love Chu’s pacing, but even more than that, I adore his dialog. Wesley Chu needs to be writing screen plays, because I think he’d be really good at it. (But keep writing books too, Wesley!) My favorite new character this time around was a guy named Marco, who has a history with Roen (and not a good one!). He and Roen are reluctantly thrown together on a mission, and the resulting scenes with the two of them are priceless. It’s a screamingly funny buddy story that only gets funnier as it goes along. My favorite scene between the two of them has to be when they are forced to share a bed one night, and Roen wakes up with Marco hugging him. OMG I nearly peed my pants!
One of the more interesting relationships was the one between Cameron and a Genjix host named Alex. Alex is an Adonis vessel (and you need to read the other books to understand what that is) who is supposedly defecting, and so she comes to the Tan’s place for safety. Because Cameron and Alex are the same age, it’s inevitable that a romance will start to develop between them, but I loved that it’s a sort of Romeo and Juliet scenario, since the Genjix and the Prophus are mortal enemies. But don’t expect smooth sailing for these two…luckily Chu gives us a twist to keep us on our toes!
But still, my favorite relationship is the one between Tao and his host. In the first two books, we had wonderful interactions between Tao and Roen. But after Roen lost Tao at the end of book two, Cameron is now Tao’s host, and their relationship is almost like a father and son. Tao drives Cameron to constantly train and prepare for battle, but he is still a teenaged boy, and he’s very good at tuning Tao out when he’s trying to spend time with Alex.
And Roen, without Tao in his head all the time, is something quite different in this book. He’s often uncertain of what he should be doing, after years of Tao guiding his every move. Now he must think for himself, even if his decisions are not always the right ones. I loved that Roen still *hears* Tao’s voice in his head. He knows him so well that he can imagine exactly what Tao might say in certain situations. Roen is quite sad that Tao is no longer with him, and it was poignant and sad and added another great layer to the story.
I could go on and on, but I’d rather you spend your time reading this series than reading my review, LOL! Start at the beginning, and I guarantee you’ll be hooked. Wesley Chu recently announced that Angry Robot has bought a new stand-alone trilogy set in Tao’s world, and the first book called The Rise of Io will be published next spring. Great news for his fans, old and new.
Big thanks to Angry Robot for supplying a review copy. The above quote was taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version of the book.
Read my review of The Lives of Tao
Read my review of The Deaths of Tao
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