This Is How You Lose the Time War

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Book - 2019 | First edition
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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.
Publisher: New York, NY : Saga Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc., [2019]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781534430990
1534430997
9781534431003
1534431004
Call Number: SF ELMOHTAR 2019
Characteristics: 198 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Gladstone, Max - Author

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"A story told in letters: rival agents of two opposite futures travel through time, attempting to ensure victory for their side while exchanging correspondence with each other. Their relationship develops in surprising ways but also endangers themselves and their factions." -- Provided ... Read More »


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AlexN07
Jul 19, 2020

Welcome back to another episode of "I, your oblivious queer reviewer, don't realize stories are sapphic until I start them."

This Is How You Lose the Time War was recommended to my long before it came out from a friend I made via the library website (if you even stumble upon this because I'm guessing very few Alexes have been recommended this book through the hidden chat feature on library sites, sorry I stopped writing you back. In hindsight, we probably should have exchanged non-biblio social medias) when we got into a conversation about queer lit and I just always assumed her calling this 'gay' meant Red and Blue were both guys. I forgot all about it until hearing someone mention the title recently so imagine my sheer joy when a sentence in I found out Red is a she.

Not only are these poetic time travelling queers, they're POETIC TIME TRAVELLING LESBIANS! (Not that I would have been disappointed if they were guys, but the heart wants what the heart wants and mine wants more pining ladies.)

This is such a hard book to describe because there's no way to do it justice (not even necessarily because it's complicated. It's more like the authors are both far too intelligent for me to even begin to understand) but it's kind of enemies to lovers from two time travel agents leaving each other secret letters throughout space and time. Except I suppose it's not really them specifically who are enemies so maybe it's more "vague taunts to confessions of undying love"? I don't know. I just loved it.

JCLChrisK Jul 15, 2020

I am heartless and cold, so I am afraid the romance at the heart of this story never touched me. I didn't feel what the characters were meant to be feeling, and did not understand where the feelings came from. And while part of me could appreciate the exquisiteness of writing, another part felt there was far too much purple prose. This is a good book, just not my thing.

jclTeriS Jul 01, 2020

Great epistolary time travel! Red, from a hypertechnological society, and Blue, from a magical nature culture, manipulate timeline events to influence battles from opposing sides. Their relationship develops as they leave notes throughout time in this Nebula-winning novella.

c
colinepp42
Apr 07, 2020

This novella was a welcome surprise. Telling the story through (love?) letters, let the story unfold with surprise after surprise. I was hooked until the very satisfying ending

s
skdawson
Apr 01, 2020

My favorite read of the year. There are so many layers packed into this short novel that I couldn't believe it. Looking forward to rereading it again and again. This is one that just sticks with you!

c
cfspringer
Jan 22, 2020

New Scientist

h
helo1980
Dec 10, 2019

Wow...just wow.
I grabbed this off of the shelf because of the title...
Do yourself a favor and read this book!

p
paperclypse2
Dec 02, 2019

This book is so great!

w
Waluconis
Nov 29, 2019

This leaps out of the category of time travel novels to be something new. The time travel thing here is an immediate long-solved thing of the past (Or is it the future? Well, hard to avoid some paradox with time travel.). Still, this story includes a moving love story, poetry, and even Thomas Chatterton, the icon of a total commitment to love and the life of the imagination. A great deal of the novel is epistolary (letter writing), and to add again to its uniqueness, it has two authors, a man and a woman. The tension and suspense build in a terrific fashion. The women in the love affair are members of two future agencies, one being Nature and the other a kind of sterile reason. Each a mega-force, the agencies' war through time is harrowing and extremely violent. But there is another issue at stake here. Amor vincet omnia. Can love really conquer all? This time traveling novel answers the question.

t
twhitehead24
Nov 23, 2019

The first chapter pulled me in but just could not get past all the flowery wording in the letters. "My viny-hiney elfworld, as you say, versus your techy-mechy dystopia." (36). The plot, if there was one, I could to figure out except Red and Blue were falling in love. Maybe it was the epistolary format but I have read books in that format and enjoyed them. I just cannot pinpoint the problem to just one focus. I like time-travel so that is not an issue. Red and Blue trying to kill each other but falling in love? Red and Blue are agents of what? The world is such an abominable time yet all the flowery words did not match. The way the book began, I was thinking "Terminator". Thanks to Bookish First, the publisher, and the authors for the opportunity to read this book. Just wish I would have like this one more.

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