This Is How You Lose the Time War

This Is How You Lose the Time War

Book - 2019
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Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters--and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

In the ashes of a dying world, Red finds a letter marked "Burn before reading. Signed, Blue."

So begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents in a war that stretches through the vast reaches of time and space.

Red belongs to the Agency, a post-singularity technotopia. Blue belongs to Garden, a single vast consciousness embedded in all organic matter. Their pasts are bloody and their futures mutually exclusive. They have nothing in common--save that they're the best, and they're alone.

Now what began as a battlefield boast grows into a dangerous game, one both Red and Blue are determined to win. Because winning's what you do in war. Isn't it?

A tour de force collaboration from two powerhouse writers that spans the whole of time and space.
Publisher: New York, NY : Saga Press, 2019.
Edition: First Saga Press paperback edition.
ISBN: 9781534431003
1534431004
Branch Call Number: SCIENCE FICTION EL-MOHTA
Characteristics: 198 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Gladstone, Max - Author

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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.

n
Nubivagant
Oct 18, 2019

A terrific read that I couldn't put down. An imaginative love story told through exchanged letters written in the flickering of flames, the howl of the wind, and the patterns of gossamer insect wings, delivered across time and timelines. The characters feel fully fleshed and the setting is imaginative and compelling. I don't think I can recommend this enough!

forbesrachel Oct 18, 2019

Theirs is a tale that braids itself through time, worlds, and genres. Red fights for the future of the technological Agency. Blue fights for the future of the naturalistic Garden. Both agents have won their side great victories, and, have foiled the other's plans. In their centuries long struggle, they have left their marks, and finally noticed each other. Then a letter, a temptation, starts them on an entirely unexpected path. Writers El-Mohtar and Gladstone swap back and forth between the covert operations of the two characters (told in third person), and the precipitating letters (told in epistolary form). Their two leads dance, first in a battle between worthy rivals, before developing into something more intimate. Their love is a dangerous one though, and the climax revolves around their fate. But it isn't that which so grasps at you. It is the two who change because of each other, and the lyrical language. This story has a sci-fi backdrop with many wondrous things scattered throughout alternate timelines called Strands. The characters are not exactly human either, and because nothing specifies the gender of Red or Blue, even though they both use the "she/her" pronoun, you are left to define it yourself. However, the book has a literary form. An elegance from what it spends time describing; using imagery, and analogies to create emotional resonance within such a brief page span. Many will simply label this as sci-fi, when it is actually a love letter to love that transcends boundaries.

JessicaGma Oct 17, 2019

It's a very different and lovely book where you have two operatives locked in a war, but begin to write to each other in secret letters that build....it's a really cool concept and works as a book. Also, it's short! I await more greatness from these two authors.

m
mammothhawk229e
Oct 08, 2019

Novel reminded me of Spy vs Spy & Sam the dog vs Ralph the wolf over sheep job lampoon by Warner Brothers cartoon. Sure it was a bit Kafka in that how Time War started in first place. However, the multiple snapshots of various timeline, prose & the how the letters were formed format make up for it.

1
17nehouse
Oct 05, 2019

Just... Wonder-full! More than science fiction or romance, I'd call it poetry in prose disguise but I'm afraid that would turn possible readers away. So very worth your time and stretching your reading interests. Highly recommended!

l
ldusername
Oct 05, 2019

Very hard to follow. Lots of gobbledygook. And a love story that make zero sense!

l
ldusername
Oct 05, 2019

Very hard to follow. Lots of gobbledygook. And a love story that make zero sense!

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