November 14 2021

This is how you lose the time war, by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

This is how you lose the time war

This is how you lose the time war, by Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Title: This is how you lose the time war
Author: Amal El Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Genre/ issues: Sci-fi. Romance. Timeslip.

Shop local where you can: For Australian readers, you can find this book on Booktopia, or support your local independent bookstore. US readers, check out

“I keep turning away from speaking of your letter. I feel to speak of it would be to contain what it did to me, to make it small. I don’t want to do that.”
This quote completely encapsulates how I’m feeling after reading this piece of utter perfection on paper, This is How You Lose the Time War, by @amalelmohtar and @max.gladstone.
Red travels through time, visiting threads of alternate realities to carry out the orders of the Commandant, at war to secure the best possible future for their technological Agency. Her rival agent Blue does the same, working to ensure that the Garden wins this war. But when Red finds a letter, which says “Burn before reading”, these rivals strike up an unlikely correspondence. At first taunting, their letters move through an exchange of ideas and experiences, and become something greater – epic, romantic, and threatening to change both the past and the future. If either of them are discovered, it will mean their deaths – and the war is still going on. So, someone has to win – right?
Dual perspectives. Breathtaking love letters. Time travel and sci-fi, with a focus on deeply personal relationships. This novella is short (around 200 pages) but had probably impacted me more than anything I’ve read in a long time. Sending it directly to my love because I need him to read and experience it asap so we can talk about it. The fact that we fell in love over emails and messages, separated by time and distance, makes this book even more perfect and powerful. Warning, Jacob: if you don’t love this book, I’ll be very sad. But I know you will.

#TamaraReads #2021readingchallenge 188/2021

Happy reading,




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Posted November 14, 2021 by Tamara Reads in category Book chat, Serious Adulty Books

About the Author

She/her. On Whadjuk Noongar land. NSWPRC Officer, Teacher Librarian, English teacher and social media advocate. I've been teaching in Western Sydney for my entire teaching career, and love my job more than I love Neil Gaiman. (That's a lot, in case you're wondering!) I stalk authors (but always politely), fangirl over books, and drink coffee. And one of my guilty prides about my children is that they all have favourite authors. All opinions are my own.

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