A few years have passed since the events in The Lives of Tao and the war is not going well for the Prophus and their human partners. For thousands of years, the goal of both factions of the alien Quasing has been to find a way back to their home planet, but now the Genjix have changed the rules of the game.

“It has been speculated for some time that we would be extinct before technology advanced enough for deep space travel.”

page 128

Roen and Tao are back in the game in this thrilling sequel, joined by ninja action, super spy skills, a Tesla Roadster, hot secret agents, stinky tofu, snarky aliens, warring couples, Capitol Hill wheeling and dealing, and a mission to save all humankind from destruction.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

In the middle of reading this book, I audibly cheered when, facing into a highly dangerous and unknown situation, one character remarked, “I feel like Han Solo approaching the Death Star for the first time.”

I’m not sure I have to say more, but the brilliant and wonderful geekiness of this book goes far beyond just overt references. Just make sure you read the first book before jumping into this one.

Rating (4 stars)

After blazing through The Lives of Tao, I desperately wanted more.  I jumped right into the sequel (and forward a handful of years) without a break.

The tone of the two books are quite different— Lives concentrates more on character growth while The Deaths of Tao is a full-fledged action story filled with high stakes, undercover plots and desperate acts… and snappy dialogue  with geeky humor.

Now that Roen and Tao are more familiar with each other, I loved seeing the alien-human partnership fleshed out. This was by far my favorite part of the book. However, other relationships are strained and the war is not going well. Overall, there is a sort of tragic desperation running through the whole book.

In the previous book, the alien war is happening right under our noses without anyone noticing. In Deaths, the secret war is not so secret with all that violence comes out in the open and this changes how the reader must suspend disbelief.

The freshness that made the first book so unique is understandably absent in its sequel and so it loses one star. Despite this, The Deaths of Tao lives up to its role as a sequel. I may prefer Lives overall, but I wouldn’t have missed reading this one.