I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu
Published by Subterranean Press on April 30 2016
Genres: Science fiction
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The nitty-gritty: A short tale that’s packed with action, humor, and some old favorite characters.
I fell in love with Wesley Chu’s Tao series, which ended last year with The Deaths of Tao, and so I was thrilled to discover he was writing a novella set in the same universe. The Days of Tao is short enough to devour in a day or so, and it seems to be setting the story up for Chu’s next book, The Rise of Io. For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Tao, this novella might not make as much sense as it would if you’ve already ready the series, but the story in itself is certainly self-contained enough to entertain anyone. Chu briefly explains a few of the world-building concepts, but doesn’t have time to really delve into a thorough explanation—thankfully for those of us who already know what’s going on.
(For those who need an introduction into Tao’s world, you can read my review of The Lives of Tao here.)
The story picks up some time after the end of The Rebirths of Tao. Cameron, son of Prophus operatives Jill and Roen, is now college-aged and spending the summer in Greece, a “punishment” devised by his mother due to failing his college art history class. But Cam is having a grand old time, hanging out with his new friends and enjoying himself for the first time in his life, after a hard childhood growing up on the run from the Genjix, the sworn enemies of the Prophus. But in the middle of his enjoyable summer, he’s contacted by Command and told that he’s needed to help extract a Prophus operative, who has just murdered the Russian Quartermaster General (along with his Genjix quasing), from the country. Cameron isn’t happy about it, but he’s been training his whole life for this type of assignment, and as a host himself (the quasing Tao has taken up residence in Cameron), it’s his duty to help and protect the Prophus.
Cameron makes contact with the operative, but when he warns him that a world war between the two alien factions is imminent, Cam decides to take as many of his friends with him as possible before it’s too late. After this brief set-up, the rest of the story is a race to get out of the country, as the group is pursued by Genjix operatives, Greek law enforcement, and more.
I have to say I so enjoyed being back with the Prophus alien Tao, who has a much different relationship with Cam than he did with Roen, his last host. Roen was always a bit of a mess, so it was nice to see that Cameron, having been trained practically since birth, is already well ahead of his father with his fighting skills. He and Tao seem more suited for each other, although Cameron does have a healthy disdain for some of the wisdom and training that Tao tries to impart, which makes for some very funny banter between the two.
We don’t get enough page time with the secondary characters, which didn’t surprise me too much, since the story is so short. But a few of Cam’s friends stood out for me, especially a rich kid named Yang who refuses to leave his viola behind, even as he and his friends are running for their lives. Cameron comes across as a boy who may be destined for greatness, but he’s still just a kid with (sometimes) poor decision-making skills. I’m not sure what Chu has planned for his new series, but I fervently hope Cam and Tao are part of the cast.
The story ends with a bit of a teaser leading into The Rise of Io, but after reading the Goodreads story description I’m honestly not sure what to expect! All I know is that I love this series, and I’m beyond excited that Wesley Chu has decided to keep his characters alive on the page. For fans of Tao and company, don’t miss this fun and fast-paced adventure.
Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy.