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Review: This is How You Lose the Time War

Rating: 3 out of 5.


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?
Co-written 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. – Goodreads


This is a beautifully written story with a lot of extremely clever Easter eggs and a well done time travel plot that does an excellent job of circling back into itself.

Unfortunately, this is all offset but tow major undeniable problems. First and foremost is the fact that, despite being written by two separate authors, Red and Blue’s voices are almost indistinguishable from one another. Even listening to the audiobook, which is read by two different people, I would have to often pause to figure out who was speaking.

Second is the fact that their “great love” made them make incredibly stupid, out of character decisions near the end of the book. Maybe romance, of any kind, just isn’t for me if it means having to buy into the idea that truly loving someone means losing yourself completely.

Overall I found this to be a very pretty, unique book that was ultimately overwhelmed by its basic love tropes.