Book Review: This Is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

How would you love someone on the opposite side of a war from you? How would you do it if your commanders could literally read your thoughts and know if you were consorting or even thinking about consorting with the enemy?

*This Is How You Lose the Time War* aims to answer that question, in a wonderful short novel that reads almost more, at times, like romantic poetry than it does genre fiction.

Honestly, what sci-fi is there is present just to provide the loose conceits necessary to weave what becomes a pretty mind-bending love story by the end of it all. Brief snippets of impossible but, in this story, assumed technologies are hinted at, used, and dispatched in a paragraph or two, in a way that will infuriate the typical hard-sci-fi fan that wants detailed explanations for how these magics actually work. That said, lovers of literature will adore how these elements are integrated into what is otherwise just a very intimate story about a relationship between two people on opposite sides of a conflict.

I don’t want to get much more into it; the joy in reading this (very short, so just read it already) novel is in how each new weird thing unfolds to the reader. It’s a very satisfying tale well told, and that should be all the recommendation you need.

About Me

Disaffected middle-aged guy who hates what the internet has become and led to and just wants to write on his quiet corner of it that he actually owns himself because WOW was social media a bad idea. I mostly write about books and terrible current events. Sorry.


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