This Is How You Lose the Time War

 Oh my heart.  This. Book.  The best way I can describe this book is gorgeous, flowery writing mixed with a sense of unending doom.  While I can understand some of the negative reviews of this book (you need to enjoy romantic language), I found this to be an engaging, thoughtful, and emotional book about the power of love and the all-encompassing hold it can have on us.  I highly recommend this book.

From Goodreads: 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 hell-bent 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.

I cannot remember the last time I read a book that was so exquisitely written. I wanted to highlight each sentence so I could savor the words I was reading.  The authors are able to capture the emotions of falling in love, the good and the bad, in a way that was both beautiful and haunting.  Is this book confusing?  Yes.  Is it meant to be?  I think so.  The world Red and Blue inhabit is a world in which time can be changed, messages can be sent to the future and the past, and the reader is left just as discombobulated as the characters.  The characters slip through time as easily as water slips through your hands…. trying to make sense of it all is futile. The only thing you need to know is that Red and Blue belong to two warring factions and they have been fighting for a very long time. I loved the back of forth of the story-the chapters bouncing back and forth between Red and Blue was a great way to show each character’s perspective as well as giving the reader snippets of what their world is like. By the middle of the book I was so invested in the love story that I couldn’t put the book down and I finished the rest in one sitting.  I had every emotion while reading this book: happy, sad, elated, heartbroken; I had to sit with my thoughts for a few minutes after finishing so I could understand what I was feeling. I thought about this book long after I finished.

If you are looking for a wondrous love story with a sci-fi spin, this is the book for you.  While a little hard to get into due to the lack of a cohesive plot, I think this book is a must read.

Favorite Quotes:  I had to pick two for this book!

“Her pen had a heart inside, and the nib was a wound in a vein.  She stained the page with herself.”

“I want to be a body for you. I want to chase you, find you, I want to be eluded and teased and adored; I want to be defeated and victorious—I want you to cut me, sharpen me. I want to drink tea beside you in ten years or a thousand. Flowers grow far away on a planet they’ll call Cephalus, and these flowers bloom once a century, when the living star and its black-hole binary enter conjunction.I want to fix you a bouquet of them, gathered across eight hundred thousand years, so you can draw our whole engagement in a single breath, all the ages we’ve shaped together.”

Authors:  Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Published: July 16th, 2019

Rating: 5 Stars

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