This is How You Lose the Time War

paperback, 208 pages

Published July 18, 2019 by Jo Fletcher Books.

ISBN:
978-1-5294-0523-1
Copied ISBN!

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (273 reviews)

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 …

5 editions

Cute romance with a disappointing sci-fi setting.

3 stars

Amal El-Mothar and Max Gladsonte's "This is How You Lose the Time War" follows two agents, Red and Blue, on opposite sides of a war that spans all of time and (some of?) space across multiple universes.

Each chapter starts with a snapshot of what each agent is doing to advance their side's cause, whether that's taking part in major historical events or planting the seeds for 'coincidences' in the future, and ends with the discovery of a letter from their counterpart. What begins as acknowledgements of respect, nods across the battlefield, gradually grow into something more.

Fans of science fiction may be disappointed by the lack of focus on the time-traveling, universe-hopping backdrop to this story of star-crossing lovers. Details are sparse, and little is disclosed about the factions or why they are at war other than hints and impressions throughout the book.

The gradual, tip-toeing romance between Red …

Vaivenes temporales.

5 stars

Content warning Historia de amor prohibido a través del tiempo.

-

2 stars

I must preface this with the fact that I have always disliked time travel in fiction. Not once have I ever enjoyed any depiction of it. I find it frustrating and uncomfortable and this iteration, though definitely a unique take on the topic, was no exception.

This is a very difficult book to pin down and review because it felt like it almost didn't want to be read. While it was extremely formulaic (one chapter told from one of the two protagonists' POV, followed by a letter left by the other, then switch places) the prose was so flowery that I had difficulty understanding just what was supposed to be happening at times. Though I suppose when your two lead characters are literally named 'Red' and 'Blue' it shouldn't be surprising when the rest of the book is absolutely purple. rimshot

There's a war between two factions that both have …

Love letters meets time travel

3 stars

Worth reading but I wasn’t up on all the literary references as much as you need to be. The quality of the writing was obvious and superb, but, oddly for a novella, I felt it a little too long. I wanted the story to move on from the love letter correspondence between Red and Blue one or two letters earlier. The immersion that was achieved for the diverse locations with such brief descriptions was my highlight. There’s a mystery character appearing at the end of each letter, and although readers (esp. any fantasy/SF reader) would spot who that is, when we actually meet them, for the end game, I got more into the romance of it.

Bigolas Dickolas was right

5 stars

Beautiful novella! A lot of it is very abstract, on purpose. Like, how unlikely is it that two agents from rivaling parties both name themselves after colours, Blue and Red? It doesn't matter. Neither do the specific missions. The war events. The time strands.

What does matter, are the letters they send each other. The Seeker following them everywhere, snorting teapots like cocaine. And how they lose and win the time war.

Bonus points for the writing method (the two authors wrote the letters to each other, one after another, and built the universe that way). Bonus points for wlw romance. Bonus points for singing Steven Universe songs while writing the book. Bonus points for posing with swords on the backcover photo.

Awful

2 stars

I think I get it, it's jazz- two authors in an experimental flirtation. One author is scifi, the other enjoys regency epistolary romance. A cute experiment that never should have seen the light of day

The cringe. The prose is so awkward, so desperate. It's like Ready Player One, full of snide references- Do you get it? Do you see? Are you worthy of me & my enormous capacity for yellowing Tumblr memes & high-school literary reference?

Yeah, nah. Get in the bin.

a teapot in a tempest

5 stars

"This is How You Lose the Time War" asks the reader to perch on the shoulders of two operatives on opposing sides of a time-traveling war.

Each chapter follows "Red" or "Blue" as they scurry up and down timelines and across dimensions. The book is both sweepingly broad and extremely contained and personal.

The settings flit by, dizzying: a temple for mechanized humans, an ancient holy cave, the assassination of Caesar - each sketched with broad, emotional strokes to give the setting an aesthetic. One gets the sense that a great web of cause and effect is being constantly constructed, altered, and destroyed, without ever seeing the full picture.

Against these backdrops, the characters "Red" and "Blue" write to each other - as nemeses, then as friends, ever deeper entangled even as they demolish each other's plans and forces. The letters make up an enormous part of the experience, and …

avatar for objelisks

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ansate

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ursu

rated it

3 stars
avatar for windchime

rated it

4 stars
avatar for future_will

rated it

4 stars
avatar for thrickles

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Rinn

rated it

4 stars
avatar for inti

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Serpina

rated it

4 stars
avatar for starscolapse

rated it

1 star
avatar for wayward

rated it

5 stars
avatar for chris_st

rated it

5 stars
avatar for davidoclubb

rated it

3 stars
avatar for davidoclubb

rated it

3 stars
avatar for tempse

rated it

5 stars
avatar for luxon

rated it

5 stars
avatar for mondayxius

rated it

3 stars
avatar for howardbatey

rated it

4 stars
avatar for pietvanzoen

rated it

5 stars
avatar for herriott101

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Shepy

rated it

2 stars
avatar for brzy

rated it

4 stars
avatar for chrisw_b

rated it

5 stars
avatar for shawn

rated it

4 stars
avatar for sadalababa

rated it

2 stars
avatar for asmaloney

rated it

2 stars
avatar for suddzzjr

rated it

5 stars
avatar for gon

rated it

5 stars
avatar for unsuspicious@wyrms.de

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Purpleray

rated it

4 stars
avatar for mouse

rated it

5 stars
avatar for bbbhltz

rated it

4 stars
avatar for inga-lovinde

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ckochx

rated it

5 stars
avatar for prakash

rated it

5 stars
avatar for cincodenada@bookwyrm.cincodenada.com

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Elspeth

rated it

5 stars
avatar for drb

rated it

5 stars
avatar for nithinbekal

rated it

4 stars
avatar for sir_diesalot

rated it

5 stars
avatar for naomi

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Johana

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Daylight

rated it

5 stars
avatar for witchyflickchick

rated it

4 stars
avatar for xip

rated it

4 stars
avatar for JoeGermuska

rated it

3 stars
avatar for NoahFahlgren

rated it

5 stars
avatar for xavierroy

rated it

5 stars
avatar for j6m8

rated it

5 stars
avatar for j6m8

rated it

5 stars
avatar for LuisVilla

rated it

5 stars
avatar for wakatara

rated it

4 stars
avatar for androgynoid

rated it

4 stars
avatar for sansaraf

rated it

5 stars
avatar for kataract

rated it

4 stars
avatar for floreani

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Bruce

rated it

4 stars
avatar for spodonkidonk

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Jaytee

rated it

5 stars
avatar for knizer

rated it

5 stars
avatar for rgibert

rated it

3 stars
avatar for amyinorbit

rated it

5 stars
avatar for the_lirazel

rated it

4 stars
avatar for lbthomas

rated it

2 stars
avatar for thebbennett

rated it

5 stars
avatar for chadkoh

rated it

5 stars
avatar for joeyh

rated it

5 stars
avatar for awboonstra

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Fireblend

rated it

5 stars
avatar for wafonso

rated it

5 stars
avatar for kbg

rated it

3 stars
avatar for stinkingpig

rated it

5 stars
avatar for 73pctGeek

rated it

4 stars
avatar for MandolinDan

rated it

3 stars
avatar for xorn

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Mignon

rated it

3 stars
avatar for cjhubbs

rated it

5 stars
avatar for gawwrgi

rated it

4 stars
avatar for paudie

rated it

3 stars
avatar for emarsh

rated it

4 stars
avatar for susurros

rated it

4 stars
avatar for bug138

rated it

3 stars
avatar for ish-i-ness

rated it

5 stars
avatar for giantrobot

rated it

3 stars
avatar for xianny

rated it

2 stars
avatar for LindseyB

rated it

3 stars
avatar for lipalipalipa

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Ivia

rated it

3 stars
avatar for itskia2@ramblingreaders.org

rated it

4 stars
avatar for atheory

rated it

5 stars
avatar for johnke

rated it

3 stars
avatar for kittybird

rated it

5 stars
avatar for mpmurawski

rated it

4 stars
avatar for bondolo

rated it

4 stars
avatar for satyajit

rated it

5 stars
avatar for halkeye

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Allenshull

rated it

3 stars
avatar for emily_rj

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Kaslov

rated it

4 stars
avatar for AndySoc1al

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Stitch

rated it

3 stars
avatar for TimmyMac

rated it

5 stars
avatar for slowline

rated it

3 stars
avatar for Hyzie

rated it

4 stars
avatar for tlwright

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Manzabar

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Manzabar

rated it

4 stars
avatar for dx

rated it

4 stars
avatar for m4cb3th

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Adem

rated it

4 stars
avatar for mxspacecadet

rated it

5 stars
avatar for bachya

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jbtchr

rated it

2 stars
avatar for indeed_distract

rated it

5 stars
avatar for wanderbaer

rated it

5 stars
avatar for johnwilker

rated it

3 stars
avatar for skrud

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Enno

rated it

5 stars
avatar for jobias

rated it

5 stars
avatar for philiporange

rated it

3 stars
avatar for dev_tea

rated it

5 stars
avatar for carb

rated it

5 stars
avatar for flobin

rated it

5 stars
avatar for fakelvis

rated it

4 stars
avatar for starstryke

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Bitboxer

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Xoriff

rated it

4 stars
avatar for ginkgo

rated it

3 stars
avatar for thekerker

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Pablonaj

rated it

4 stars
avatar for karlhungus

rated it

4 stars
avatar for GrampaSiFiG

rated it

3 stars
avatar for alexmorse

rated it

3 stars
avatar for essteeyou

rated it

5 stars
avatar for tsukikage

rated it

5 stars
avatar for ch1n3du

rated it

5 stars
avatar for peter_hall

rated it

5 stars
avatar for robhedges

rated it

5 stars
avatar for chaos_angel

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Psvensson

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Shtakser

rated it

3 stars
avatar for WorzelFG

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Library_Orb

rated it

5 stars
avatar for brzy

rated it

5 stars
avatar for bentreegecko

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Affienia

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Solysto

rated it

4 stars
avatar for Calinthalus

rated it

5 stars
avatar for recri

rated it

5 stars
avatar for MouseOfMadness

rated it

5 stars
avatar for lown

rated it

4 stars
avatar for karma

rated it

5 stars
avatar for robphippen

rated it

5 stars
avatar for agindin

rated it

4 stars
avatar for faceleg

rated it

4 stars
avatar for nogoodnik

rated it

5 stars
avatar for iamtom

rated it

5 stars
avatar for Noxus

rated it

4 stars
avatar for jacintocc

rated it

5 stars
avatar for acdha

rated it

4 stars
avatar for eh

rated it

5 stars
avatar for AndyB

rated it

4 stars
avatar for wordeater

rated it

3 stars
avatar for abon

rated it

4 stars
avatar for hastur

rated it

4 stars
avatar for dave@bookwyrm.undef.org.uk

rated it

4 stars
avatar for interlibraryprone

rated it

4 stars
avatar for maleo

rated it

5 stars
avatar for yo.ian.g

rated it

5 stars
avatar for mja1999

rated it

5 stars
avatar for EMR

rated it

3 stars
avatar for milsyobtaf

rated it

5 stars