This is How You Lose the Time War (Max Gladstone, Amal El-Mohtar)

26 February 2020

This is How You Lose the Time War

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. There's still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That's how war works. Right?

Average Rating:

Sinclair Manson (29 February 2020 09:56)

The suggestion that the soldiers on either side of a war have more in common than not is not new but this book blows the idea up to a cosmic scale. The conceit of telling the story mostly through letters was interesting and well executed. However, the relationship between Red and Blue felt pushed by the needs of the plot beyond organic growth. I would have liked to see it developed more slowly. The settings for the letters' discovery and their strange forms were very playful but to me felt detatched from what was happening with Red and Blue; picturesque postcards from the timewar but a little incidental.