Cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War.

This Is How You Lose the Time War

author: Amal El-Mohtar (2019)
date read: 2019-09-21
pages: 209
lists: five-stars , scifi
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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. Maybe you will, too.

Further Reading

It’s hard to name anything that comes even close to this book. If you’re looking for similar levels of lyrical language that is still rooted in a brutal (yet beautiful) reality, The Last Unicorn could be your kind of thing.

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