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The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu

The Days of Tao

by Wesley Chu

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Review from The Speculative Herald: http://www.speculativeherald.com/2016/04/29/review-the-days-of-tao-by-wesley-chu...

The Days of Tao novella is set several years after Rebirths of Tao and features Cameron who is settled in college. I have always loved the interactions between Tao and whoever is hosting him so this instantly made my must read list.

Cameron is trying to lead a normal type of life. Something he has not been able to do, pretty much since forever. His parents lives revolve around the Genjix/Prophus war, and as a host he has been trained to join them since birth. He finally has the opportunity to put all that aside and study abroad in Greece. This is a wonderful chance for him to finally be on his own and try to fit in and do all the normal things that typical kids do. Classes, homework, peer pressure, making friends. All that good stuff.

But, Cameron? He’s not a typical kid. Typical kids don’t have aliens in their brains telling them things. Typical kids don’t have parents heading up a war. So, of course, Cameron is pulled out of his moment of typical college life when a Prophus agent in Greece needs extraction and Cameron is the only available agent that can help. As Cameron gets involved, the shit totally hits the fan and Genjix are taking over Greece and where ever else they can near by. So now, in addition to getting the agent out, he now has to do so in a locked down police state.

Now, first I want to mention, I love Chu’s sense of humor and the witty comments that come from Tao. But this section here is where the story got a bit dicey for me. So, in this super dangerous area, with this critical task of securing an agent, Cameron somehow decides to bring along like half of his dorm. OK, not actually half of his dorm, but definitely more than just a a couple close friends. He’s a sweet kids, concerned for his new friends. I get that he wants them to be safe. But my word of advice is to just not think about it. Ignore any disbelief here, don’t try to rationalize how Cameron decided this would be an awesome idea bring them with him on this very dangerous and very important mission and just go with it. These kids dragging their luggage and belongings through the deserted streets trying to find safety, just think about the story as it is being told and don’t question why they are there. The story is fun, but logically it might be hard if you think about it too much. This is a novella, its meant to be short and fun, and it is.

My only other concern is I just didn’t care for any of the secondary characters a whole lot. I think some of this just comes from being a shorter form of story telling, so there wasn’t a chance to flesh them out all. So at times I felt like they were just angsty tag alongs that I kinda wished Cameron had left behind. Maybe this is why I thought a bit more about why did he bring these kids along? I suspect not everyone will feel this way though. The story overall is still fun, full of action and it is a quick read. I definitely recommend fans of Chu’s work to give it a read. For readers new, I recommend starting with either The Lives of Tao or Time Salvagers. ( )
  tenaciousreader | Jul 25, 2016 |
I won The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu in the black and white scifi/fantasy/horror novella surprise giveaway at Little Red Reviewer. Thank you Andrea for some fun reading.

The Days of Tao is a science fiction novella that reminds me of The Host by Stephanie Meyer and the TV show Person of Interest.

Cameron is a college student and an agent of Prophus. He gets caught up in a war between Prophus and Genjix and is given the task of extracting Nazar who has vital information. He struggles to make the right decisions and save his college friends at the same time. He is courageous, though naive and learns some valuable lessons.

The Days of Tao is a coming of age story and Wesley Chu’s writing brings Cameron to life within the pages. The action is fast paced and the adventure makes the characters shine, some of them surprising me by their actions. I am still not sure of who the traitor was, but I see why Cameron he made the difficult choice he did. We have to live with the decisions we make and so does Cameron. After all…no one can ask us to do more than our best. ( )
  sherry69 | Jul 25, 2016 |
Cameron Tan is having a summer break – somewhat enforced by his less than impressed mother – a very important figure who is not amused by his latest grades. It’s a break from his training as a Prophus operative – carrying the alien Quasling in his mind – but not too unwelcome

That is, until he finds himself on the front lines of World War 3.

This book was fascinating and frustrating

Fascinating because I love the world setting and the concept. People bonding with a Quasing, alien beings who then bring their experience and knowledge to the partnership while at the same time drawing human nations into their own civil war. I like the balance of this, Tao brings experience, knowledge and intelligence to the partnership with Cameron, but he doesn’t bring super powers or awesome abilities. He has insight and intelligence to offer, but skills and abilities are all Cameron‘s own. Including his great combat skills

It’s also easy to make a character a combat monster and call it done – but Cameron has a lot of stress riding on him that no amount of combat ability can really change. He has huge expectations laid on him, a large legacy to fill, demanding parents, a demanding Tao and hard decisions to make. In many ways, no matter how dangerous he is, he is not even remotely ready for this task. In fact, his doubts and difficulties make his combat skills seem almost surprising – which says a lot about the ideals I’ve absorbed from the genre. A male protagonist who can cause so much damage is surely super confident and can’t have any doubts! In Cameron we see skills and insecurity, ability and inexperience and a whole lot of doubts and pressures that he’s desperately not ready for

It’s also one of those books where you can sit there smugly as an audience and say “you’re making the wrong decision” because there’s an obvious, logical choice. But it’s easy to make those logical choices when you don’t have an emotional connection to those left behind.

I think that may be one flaw of this book – because while Cameron’s growth, conflict and emotional development is impressive and excellent – I can’t say the same for the people around him. I think it’s because the book is pretty short and there are a lot of people and they kind of just become names. I mean, from Cameron’s reactions I can see how painful it would be for him to leave a person behind or to see them hurt –but I don’t have any connection to these characters.

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  FangsfortheFantasy | Apr 27, 2016 |
I haven't read the other books in this series, and based on this novella I am not planning on reading them. The premise of the series sounded promising - two alien, warring species hosted by humans who are drawn into their conflict. However, I found the author's writing style to be flat, colorless and juvenile. The protagonist of this story, Cameron was an idiot and I have no idea why the obviously more competent Nazar would need his help. The college students were all incredibly annoying. The attempts at humor were along the lines of "Even soothsayers like modern amenities." If that is the level of humor that you like, then go for it. I was just glad that the book was short.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. ( )
  fhudnell | Mar 8, 2016 |
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