This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.And 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.Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to ...

Details This Is How You Lose the Time War

TitleThis Is How You Lose the Time War
Release DateJul 16th, 2019
PublisherSaga Press
GenreScience Fiction, Time Travel, Fiction, LGBT, Fantasy

Reviews This Is How You Lose the Time War

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء
    ✨Full review now posted HERE on my blog ✨[hands out pamphlets on the street] do you have a moment to talk about this deeply poetic, hugely romantic and delightfully SAPPHIC time-travel adventure?
  • Bradley
    Damn excellent SF novella. I won't have any problems nominating this for next year's Hugo. It's poetical, yo. Not only poetical, but delighfully unforced in its romance... even as the time war rages between heavy tech and heavy biopunk up and down multiple timelines in a game of Go! that stretches to near-infinity.Wait. Did I say romance? Yep. Hard SF romance, so light and deft in its hardcore science it becomes a whirlwind of ambiance designed o...
  • Acqua
    4.5 starsThis Is How You Lose the Time War is a novella about a love that transcends time, space and humanity. It's beautiful and lyrical and heartbreaking; it's all of these things and I loved its ending so much that I don't feel like I can do this story justice with a review. Just know that, while this is an epistolary f/f enemies-to-lovers story set during a time-travel war, calling it that feels almost reductive.It follows two entities, "Red"...
  • rin 눈_눈 WATCH GOOD OMENS
    i wish i liked it more but it's a little too poetic for me i guess? im not into this type of prose much
  • Rose
    I’ll tell you right upfront, this book is not for everyone. Hard sci-fi readers may be disappointed because even though this book is dependant on time travel, it is more about love and told very poetically. The story begins at the end of a battle. Our two main characters are the top agents for each side: Red from the technology enhanced future versus Blue from the environmental future (these descriptions are subject to my own interpretation as ...
  • unknown
    A time travel romance with teeth sharp enough to tear out your still-beating heart.
  • wanderer (Para)
    ARC received from the publisher (Saga Press) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.Whoa. Just...whoa. Another candidate for "best of 2019" for me. It's like someone distilled almost everything I like into one book - exquisite prose, a high dose of weirdness, a queer relationship, a more literary feel, experimental structure - and the end result is breathtaking. Brilliant in a way I'm not sure a review can illustrate. It has to be read to ...
  • Billie
    Okay. So. Hmm. I loved the love story aspect of it and generally got the gist of what was going on, but there was some big-picture world building that either went completely over my head (likely) or was missing (possible). Being dumped into the middle of a story that has been going on, off the page, for who-knows-how-long can be disorienting. And maybe it was meant to be. Or maybe I'm just not smart enough for this book. Or maybe it was a mis-ste...
  • Megan
    A woman approaches you. She's wearing a dark coat. She reaches into an inside pocket and holds something out. "Hey you," she says, "look at this." You're not entirely sure what you're looking at; but it's beautiful. Multi-faceted like a diamond. Intricate like one of those sculptures where the artist makes stone look like lace. You try to get a closer look, but she whisks it away and holds out her other hand. This one holds something as alien as ...
  • Kristen
    Full review is here, on my blog!~This book is absolutely beautifully written, for starters. It’s also often indescribably weird… but not in a bad way. Not at all.This book basically follows two agents from rival sides in a war across time as they communicate with each other, becoming closer with each letter.Most of the letters are very uniquely presented, whether in tea leaves, or lava from an erupting volcano about to engulf Atlantis, and so...
  • Racheal
    This book is everything. THIS BOOK IS EVERYTHING. This is the best thing I've read since Circe ripped my fucking heart out last year. It's one of those precious, rare books that somehow managed to leave me in great, gasping, sobs, but also feeling full to bursting. The kind that feels like it's carved itself into the squishy meat of my heart.Here lies Racheal's heart, officially wrecked by:Dawn, Octavia ButlerJune, 2016A Taste of Honey,  Kai...
  • Sara Norja
    I received an ARC of this book from Amal El-Mohtar, and spent a wonderful three days reading it out loud with a loved one. An amazing way to read this book: I highly recommend taking Blue and Red's parts and reading them out loud in turn. Reading out loud was a glorious way of experiencing the deep poetry of this book.As for what I thought about this - can I give this twelve million stars, please? I laughed, I cried (yes, actual tears), I felt my...
  • Megan
    I'm going to need at least a month to recover from this book. I'm reeling and I couldn't breathe after I finished it. This goes way beyond beautiful; it's one of those books that reminds me that writing is also an art form. This Is How You Lose the Time War is a 200-page prose poem, an epistolary masterpiece, a masterclass in allusion, a deep dive into character, a perfect manipulation of form and syntax and tone, a bending of the genre to create...
  • Vanessa Halls
    Every now and then, a book comes a long that is so fresh, so beautiful, so heart-rending, that it only takes a few pages before you know it'll stick with you forever. This is one of those books. Complex, intimate, and romantic as hell, I've never read anything quite like it. I fell in love with Red and Blue and their separate but intersecting lives, rooting for them with all my heart even as my gut began to sour with dread. I can't wait until thi...
  • Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
    This is probably one of the most creative pieces of fiction I've read in years. This Is How You Lose the Time War is astonishingly unique, unabashedly romantic, and a stellar work of literary sci-fi that manages to tell an epic story in a very small frame. For a novella that makes you feel so much, there is a lot that is left unsaid. Red and Blue are on the opposite sides of a war. Red is part of The Agency, a technologically advanced world, and ...
  • Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
    This review and others can be found on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.“I keep turning away from speaking of your letter. I feel – to speak of it would be to contain what it did to me, to make it small. I don’t want to do that. I suppose in some ways, I’m more Garden’s child than she knows.Even poetry, which breaks language into meaning – poetry ossifies, in time, the way trees do. What’s supple, whipping, soft, and fresh grows hard...
  • Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    I received an ARC through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review!3.5/5Wow, so, this book. I honestly don't know what to think of it. The book follows two futuristic women who are a part of opposite cultures (that's what I'm calling them) and are supposed to be enemies. Red works for the Agency while Blue works for the Garden. I'll be honest, I never quite got them down until twenty to thirty pages from the end. That was when I got things d...
  • Justine
    A lovely, totally bizarre, weird, and memorable book. RTC!
  • Bailey
    I am too filled with emotion to write literally anything coherent. Just, pre-order this book if time-traveling lesbian spies exchanging letters sounds remotely interesting. This book is so much better than you can ever imagine and it will tear out your heart. Full review to come.
  • Dave
    Last night I almost missed my stop. I had just finished this book and I was sat there among all the commuters, lost in thoughts of just how beautiful this book is. I suddenly thought to myself "Shit, where am I?" and glanced out the window. The train was sat, with the doors open at my station. So I had to rush off.I can't remember the last time a book did that to me.Poetry and war and love and time-travel and so many letters.Glorious.
  • Kerry
    I'm not even sure how to approach this's so good. Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone have really pulled off some shit, and I'm just kind of floating here in a pool of my own OMG thinking about it. Red and Blue are top agents of war, traveling across time and space to sow brutal seeds of future victories for The Agency and Garden, their respective and fundamentally opposing sides in the titular time war. They begin a very off-limit...
  • laurel [suspected bibliophile]
    ALL THE STARS!!I'm not sure if I'm reeling from that ending or how the entire book wove and threaded and braided its way into my heart and soul, and how I fell hard for Red and Blue and their long games.It all begins with ruthless agent of the Agency Red finds a letter that reads, "Burn before reading." In it, she finds a taunt, a challenge—her greatest foe has revealed herself. And off she goes in a cat and cat game of win-lose-win, sneaky sub...
  • Kal ★ Reader Voracious
    ARC sent by Saga Press via Bookish First for my honest review! "Wars are dense with causes and effects, calculations and strange attractors, and all the more so are wars in time." This is a beautifully written and poetic experience masquerading as a novella. This Is How You Lose the Time War is a character-driven story; it is all about Red and Blue and their unlikely correspondences through time and space. There is much that you can glean from ...
  • Samantha Colwell
    It’s hard to describe this book adequately without screaming at the top of my lungs, “This is what love is!” I’m going to do my best to justly review this thing without my hyperbolic fits, but describing mountains without awe is impossible, and this is the Swiss Alps of books.Here’s the issue, the plot is kind of hard to describe. I tried to put it into words when friends asked, “Calm down, stop yelling at me about love, what’s the ...
  • Sara
    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is equal parts beautiful and mind bending. For a novella, it manages to capture the feelings of love, admiration, war, hatred and desire all wrapped up into letters told between Red and Blue. Two agents, designed to hate and destroy each other, yet grow to respect and love each other instead. It’s purposely vague in its presentation of the characters. We’re never really sur...