Book Review This Is How You Lose The Time War
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Book Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War

It’s not often that I find myself at a loss for words when writing a book review, but there just isn’t enough vocabulary in the English language–or any human language for that matter–to do justice to This Is How You Lose The Time War. Although it’s a story about forbidden love and science-fiction and time travel, somehow, while reading this book, I had this distinct feeling that I would never again be the same. 

This Is How You Lose The Time War

One of the most swoon-worthy, enthralling, and heart-wrenchingly beautiful epic romances ever written, This Is How You Lose The Time War is a complex story about a forbidden love that literally withstands the tests of time.

~ Synopsis: This Is How You Lose The Time War ~

Book Review: 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.


Rating: 5 out of 5.
Genre: Science Fiction, Romance, Adult, Time Travel
Trigger Warnings: Death, violence and gore, animal cruelty

~ Book Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War ~

The story unfolds itself mostly through letters exchanged between two rival agents–Blue and Red—whose people have been at war since the beginning of time itself. Both of them are the best of their factions, and the very survival of their respective races depends on the extinction of the other. 

To do this–they both have missions that involve going back and forth in time either altering certain real-world events or ensuring those events happen the way we have experienced them (the assassination of Julius Caesar, the fall of Atlantis, etc).

Through each mission, they keep encountering one another, always on opposite sides of the war. But the trouble begins when they start exchanging letters–initially to taunt one another as they sabotage the other person’s mission.

Soon enough though, the taunting letters turn into merciless teasing, into thinly-veiled flirtations, into confessions of vulnerability, and eventually…love. 

To say that these letters are probably the most intensely romantic love letters I have ever read would be the biggest understatement.

“I love you. I love you. I love you. I’ll write it in waves. In skies. In my heart. You’ll never see, but you will know. I’ll be all the poets, I’ll kill them all and take each one’s place in turn, and every time love’s written in all the strands it will be to you.”

Amal El-Mohtar, This is How You Lose the Time War

There’s an underlying current of urgency, risk, and thrill with each letter–especially when the narrative shifts to the third-person view and shows us how Blue and Red are constantly being watched and observed by a mysterious shadow who seems to be obsessed with consuming the letters they exchange. 

This is not a story that is easy to dive into. The world-building, the background of the characters, the setting–all of it is so far-fetched in the realm of science fiction that it is difficult to wrap your mind around. This Is How You Lose The Time War is the kind of book that truly challenges the limits of your imagination and demands that you accept the world it is set in as it is, without any questions or doubts. 

There were times when I actually had to put the book down and marvel at the imagination of the authors who wrote this story together. How did their minds come up with a world so strange, filled with an even stranger version of an evolved human race?

With every letter exchanged–you do get to understand a little more of the lives Blue and Red have to live, but it is nearly impossible to relate to the characters or their struggles because they are so impeccably otherworldly. 

And yet, you cannot help but empathize with both women as they start to fall for each other, as they start to question the circumstances that have led their respective races to be at war with each other. As both women start breaking the rules with the hopes of keeping the other alive, you cannot help but feel their fears too. You cannot help but wish that they would find a way to be together safe and sound, and as the story progresses and the stakes go higher, my fear for the characters kept rising like a tide too. 

“I want to meet you in every place I ever loved. Listen to me. I am your echo. I would rather break the world than lose you.”

― Amal El-Mohtar, This is How You Lose the Time War

And while I cannot give spoilers to how the story ends, all I can say is Blue and Red’s story has a conclusion that is as epic as their love, and the way the authors tie up all the loose ends, especially the one tied to their mysterious stalker–was absolutely incredible. 

To sum it all up, This Is How You Lose The Time War is not a book I would recommend to everyone because it demands the reader to set aside their disbeliefs and challenge their perceptions of what the future of mankind could look like. 

BUT, it is definitely a book I would highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of science-fiction and fantasy and swooning romance that defies the constraints of time itself. 

Enjoy time travel romance? Then you might enjoy Someone In Timea beautiful anthology of gorgeous love stories warped by time. Check it out!

Book Review: This Is How You Lose The Time War



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