1 Apr 2022

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: THIS IS HOW YOU LOSE THE TIME WAR by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone


Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


Author: Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Series: N/A
Source: Audiobook from Audible
Publisher: Saga Press
Publication Date: July 16, 2019

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.
I loved so much about this book - the storyline, the way it was written in letters, the romance. I thought it was beautifully written and the characters were so great. I listened to it as an audiobook and the narrators did a good job with embracing the characters and their emotions.

This follows two women on opposite sides of a war who start writing letters to eachother as taunts, but then through their letter writing, fall in love. I loved the romance aspect of this and the relationship between Red and Blue. Some of the letters were so wholesome and romantic - I loved them.

The prose is also so beautiful. It's poetic and lovely and definitely filled with emotional prose that helped me to get super invested in the characters.

It was just the worldbuilding and sci-fi elements that I thought could use more to it. It had some aspects that made sense, but when it got to other elements, such as braiding and how they were time travelling, I wanted much more to it. There was only a tickle of how this worked, how it impacted us, and what it actually meant to be in this "war."

Also, it was really short! I wanted like another 200 pages of this because the conflict came up really quickly and then was resolved very fast as well. This was more of a novella than a full novel. The "short story" elements to it made it a good read, but there was definitely more that should have and could have been done in this story.

The story itself is a good one, it provides enough to captivate you throughout, but I wanted it to be longer and focus more on the worldbuilding.

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?

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