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The Lives of Tao Book Review

It was a great Saturday. I finished with the house move and because I keep Shabbat I was ready to disconnect from the digital world for 25 hours of inner peace. And book reading. I read a lot during Shabbat. This time I chose The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu.
The book triggered some inner conversations that everyone should make with themselves. Also, obviosuly spoilers ūüėČ

The Lives of Tao begins with the violent death of its current host named Eduard Blair. Tao, as explained in the book, is an alien. Its kind came to earth in an organic ship that crash landed on earth. That ship was the “meteor” that caused the ice age that killed the dinosaurs. Yeah, that book gives a new perspective to many events we all know. Tao’s brethren are what is called Quasing. I imagined Tao’s kind as bubbles, congested air wrapped in a delicate bubble and that fragile being was the actual Quasing. They survive by “invading” organic beings. it could be anything that breaths. Humans, Dogs, birds, etc.
After Eduard’s death Tao was left to wander in search of a new host and fast. A¬†simple gust of wind could burst its “bubble” or membrane if you insist and it would instantanously cease to be. This is when, after a short search, he finds Rowan Tan, a human. Rowan is described as an overweight, office working human with lots of self esteem issues.
I found that it was easy to relate to Rowan. I’m also starting my “early 30’s” next year, I’m overweight and I could stand to have a little more self esteem and belief in my abilities.
Only when a host dies can a Qausing be freed from them. The amazing part is that somehow, a Quasing is also using your nervous system and can access your memories and even control your body when you are not concious. So for the first couple of weeks Tao was silent and didn’t make any contact with Rowan. It was only listening and learning about its new host.
During that first part I learned that Tao exists for a millenia and one of his hosts was Genghis Khan, Among others. It was then that I started referring to Tao as a “he” instead of the objectifying “it”. Tao is a parasite. When it first came into the world he didn’t know much about humans but it¬†grew and changed and developed a personality.
Tao’s mission was to influence Rowan and get him ready to become an agent. A fighter in the war against the Ganjinx(this is how you write¬†it in English? I read the book in Hebrew).
Obviosuly, this small arc included many conversations and acts I related to. Like, understanding your day work is not a holy decree from a higher power and if you don’t feel happy in what you do – it’s your own sole responsibility to do something about it. Even if it means quitting. We are not meant to suffer in silence. Also, dating. That was a really nice arc about getting Rowan to invite that nice girl from work to a date.
It was a journey with Tao. Yes I do feel like it was a journey and those books usually leave the best impression on me.
At the end of book Rowan is also thinking about the changes he had gone through. He also lost a lot of weight, gained lots of muscle, many new friends and a purpose in life. Above all – he gained a treasure of knowledge in the form of a partner for life.
I kind of envy him even though his life is now the life of a secret agent.
Overall, I felt this book was really good. It took me about a comulative 6 or less hours to read all of it. At some point as I felt more and more related to Rowan I wanted to see how it ends. I hope there’s a sequel book. There is right?

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