Snapshot Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Title: This Is How You Lose the Time War
Author: Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Series: N/A
Pages: 201
Publisher: Saga Press
Release Date: July 16th 2019

      “Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
      Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
      Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
      Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
      Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.”

swirl (2)

“Red wrote too much too fast. Her pen had a heart inside, and the nib was a wound in the vein. She stained the page with herself. She sometimes forgets what she wrote, save that it was true, and the writing hurt.”

  • The writing – El-Mohtar and Gladstone have weaved together a beautiful story that is both hopeful and somber. The imagery is gorgeous and I found myself pausing just to appreciate the language
  • The world-building – I don’t think I’ve ever come across a world quite like this one. Red and Blue are on different sides of a war that is waged across time. Their missions require them to travel to the past, to manipulate certain events or people in order to bring about futures that will benefit their sides.
  • The romance – The progression of Red and Blue’s relationship was perfect. I love the enemies to lovers trope and bought in so fast to these two characters finding an unlikely connection. I loved how they both challenged each other, teased one another and fell so hard when they began to realize how much their feelings for one another grew.
  • The letters – The letters exchanged between Red and Blue is my favorite portion of the novel. These two have in a sense met their match in one another. But it is when these letters grow more intimate, where, despite the danger, they lay out their whole selves, that this book drilled itself into this reader’s heart. These letters are vulnerable and moving and some of the most lovely pieces of writing I’ve read.

  • Sometimes hard to follow – The unusual setting and unfamiliar language made the story a little hard to follow at the beginning.

  • Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s This Is How You Lose the Time War is one of the most unique books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The f/f romance completely swept me off my feet and I will no doubt revisit this one.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5/5)

16 thoughts on “Snapshot Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

  1. I’m curious about one after BooksandLala talked about it in a vlog. It’s good to hear another perspective on this one. I think I may check this one out. Great review, Alicia!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you liked it too! I also found it more difficult to follow than I expected (it took me much longer than novellas usually do) but I didn’t mind, it was such a beautiful experience. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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