“This is How You Lose the Time War” by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Thanks to Quercus Books and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Where does one even begin when reviewing a book like this?

In the simplest of terms, this book is about Red and Blue. Two interdimensional agents who fight in an endless war across time and space. That sounds like a really cool premise because it IS.

After a mission, Red finds a letter from Blue and from here an unconventional sapphic love affair blossoms. The rest of the story is told from their letters to one another. It’s never quite made clear what form of life Red and Blue are. Certainly they can take the form of humans, but their relationship transcends the bounds of humanity and time so it actually doesn’t really matter.

This is a gorgeously written and imaginative novella that is utterly unconventional in its style. It certainly won’t be for everyone and some people will undoubtedly find it a tad pretentious. When I was reading this book I was reminded of the writing and narrative style I encountered in Catherynne Valente’s “Deathless” so if lyrical and poetic language and ambiguities are not your thing…maybe skip this one.

What I really enjoyed about this book was how ridiculously invested I became in the relationship between Red and Blue, they were just so gosh darn romantic. I’m partial to the enemies to lovers trope as it is, but this story just took it to the next level. It’s a short read but I lingered over it more than I would a full length novel just so I could savour the experience. Let’s face it, if Madeline Miller says it’s good you know it’s going to be amazing. Perfection.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s