I'm currently behind on reviews, so don't be surprised if the recent reviews are a bit sparse.

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War.

This Is How You Lose the Time War was written by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone. They must be magic. They can’t just write like this without magic. Trust me.

It’s a love letter. No, really: It’s a series of love letters.

It’s a war story. No, really: It’s a series of war stories.

It’s a fairytale. It’s a high-tech dystopia.

It’s none of those. The breathless travel through the time war, seen from opposing agents on both sides, does not leave time for petty worldbuilding, and instead hands us poetical outlines that work far better than a thousand pages of in-depth worldbuilding could. (I want those thousand pages. But they wouldn’t improve the book.) It’s a book-long poem, or at least half the time it is. I can’t do it justice here, but I read it in a day, and I liked it very much. You might, too.


The schooner’s name is The Queen of Ferryland.


Some days Blue wonders why anyone ever bothered making numbers so small; other days she supposes even infinity needs to start somewhere.


Adventure calls to those who care more for living than for their lives.


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


β€œWe’re on the brink of something.” β€œBrinks,” says Garden, with casual fondness, β€œare traditionally stepped back from.”