Cameron Tan wouldn’t have even been in Greece if he hadn’t gotten a ‘D’ in Art History.
Instead of spending the summer after college completing his training as a Prophus operative, he’s doing a study abroad program in Greece, enjoying a normal life – spending time with friends and getting teased about his crush on a classmate.
Then the emergency notification comes in: a Prophus agent with vital information needs immediate extraction, and Cameron is the only agent on the ground, responsible for getting the other agent and data out of the country. The Prophus are relying on him to uncomplicate things.
Easy, except the rival Genjix have declared all-out war against the Prophus, which means Greece is about to be a very dangerous place. And the agent isn’t the only person relying on Cameron to get them safely out of the country – his friends from the study abroad program are, too. Cameron knows a good agent would leave them to fend for themselves. He also knows a good person wouldn’t. Suddenly, things aren’t easy at all.
The Days of Tao is the latest in the popular Tao series from award-winning author, Wesley Chu. Following after The Rebirths of Tao, this novella carries on the fast-moving and fun tone of the series.
The Days of Tao by Wesley Chu
Publication: April 30th 2016 by Subterranean Press
Source: ARC via Netgalley
The Days of Tao is a fast-moving thriller and a snapshot coming of age story, which follows Cameron Tan, an agent-in-training, as he fumbles through a sudden mission. I’ve only read a few alien host stories but I liked the nurturing mentorship/friendship between Cameron and his Tao. The symbiotic relationship between the two was fun. Though I think Cameron leans on Tao a little too much but Tao still gives him space to make his own choices and mistakes, which probably makes the individual learning process better.
There’s a young adult feel to how Cameron navigates fledgling friendships, relationships and betrayals. I liked the diverse cast of his friends and possible enemies. The ending piqued my interest enough for the next installment. (I will catch up on the previous ones in the mean time.)
*A copy of The Lives of Tao (the first book in the Tao series) is sitting on my shelf, so this novella has pushed it up the TBR pile. My inner chronologist always prompts me to go back to the beginning of stories.
I enjoy how novellas introduce me to new universes. (One of the first novellas I ever read/loved was On a Red Station, Drifting by Aliette de Bodard. I’ve got to read Binti by Nnedi Okorafor at some point too).
The Days of Tao was a fun introduction for me into this universe. Though it still is a continuation of another story in the series. There are clear references to past events, which aren’t too difficult to follow for a new reader.