The rise oF io Slumdog Alien Time-share
released OUT NOW! 424 pages | Paperback/ebook author Wesley Chu Publisher angry robot
Having given us the Lives, Deaths and Rebirths Of Tao, Wesley Chu returns to the world of that trilogy for The Distant Associates Of Tao. Tao, for the uninitiated, is one of a number of disembodied aliens – the Quasing – who’ve been stranded on Earth for millennia, secretly sharing human bodies, trying to encourage our race to develop technologically through constant conflict.
This new trilogy features a new Quasing, Io, a new host, Ella, and a new dynamic: the Indian street rat from a near-future slum and the haughty alien who hijacks her body practically loathe each other. As Io tries to train Ella to be a good host, the evil Quasing – the Genjix – have plans to take over the Indian government and level the slum, to replace it with… something not good.
What makes the book is Ella – a spunky but believably flawed character – and her entertainingly sarky exchanges with her backseat driver. There are some fan-pleasing links to the previous trilogy, boo-hiss villains and plenty of twists. All of which help to disguise a whiff of familiarity about the whole thing, and the fact that – being about 50 pages too long for the plot – it sags at times. Dave Golder
During a brief thespian career, Chu once appeared in a Hanes underwear advert with Michael Jordan.