How do you turn an out-of-shape, dissatisfied computer geek into a top-class secret agent? One way is to have a millions-of-years old alien infiltrate his consciousness to share his body. And give the alien a sense of humor.

“When someone asked Roen what he did, he’d explain that he typed incoherent commands that performed virtual tasks to create intangible objects.”

page 44

The Lives of Tao is a fast-paced sci-fi spy story sprinkled with geeky humor. If the plot doesn’t sound interesting, wait until you meet the character of Tao, an alien you grow to care about as much as his human partner.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Trust me, some sci-fi books are geekier than others and this one definitely had geeky flavor. I swear I’ve met guys just like nerdy main character Roen Tan. In addition, his personal alien Tao reminds me of wisecracking sidekicks that show up in computer games to help you when you get stuck.

After reading this, you might even wish you could be inhabited by one of these aliens… but without having to deal with the war they are fighting.

Rating (5 stars)

The whole “aliens-on-earth-inhabiting-human-bodies” plotline has been done more than once, but not like this.  Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. After I finished The Lives of Tao,  I went straight into reading the sequel, The Deaths of Tao.

Although the plot was fast-paced and exciting, characterization was never neglected. The development of character was given just as much attention as the alien war plot. I highly recommend picking this up… and unless you want to be up until 2am, start reading in the morning.