4 Bubble Teas, Amal El-Mohtar, ARC, Gallery / Saga Press, LGBTQIA, Max Gladstone, Review, Science Fiction

Advance Review: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone


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

Published by Gallery / Saga Press on July 16th, 2019

Genres: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA

Pages: 208


Rating: 0ac4e714f53d9781e649ddaa06048d9b0ac4e714f53d9781e649ddaa06048d9b0ac4e714f53d9781e649ddaa06048d9b0ac4e714f53d9781e649ddaa06048d9b

“So in this letter I am yours. Not Garden’s, not your mission’s, but yours, alone.”

*ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I stumbled upon this ARC while browsing around on Netgalley. Something about the title and the cover really intrigued me so I was surprised that I even got accepted for the ARC. But I’m really glad that I did because I can’t stop thinking about this novella!

With the world falling apart, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter, which reads: Burn before reading.

It sets off an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents who are hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. But then it grows into something more.

Though the discovery of their secret bond threatens to destroy them, Blue and Red continue to correspond through letters. There’s a war going on and nothing will let them survive and live in peace side by side.

If that description didn’t intrigue you, let me lay it out for you: Time. Travelling. Lesbian. Spies.

This book was compelling from the first page until the last. I couldn’t put it down and I even read it in one sitting. At just over 200 pages, it was a quick read that left quite an impression on me.

Most of this book is written in epistolary format, so if you aren’t a big fan of that, you might not love this. But I happen to love reading books like that. Side note: If you’re looking for other epistolary format books, I highly recommend The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan.

Through the letters, you get to witness Blue and Red’s relationship unfold. You also see their real personalities shine through. Whenever we got to the letters, it felt like a much needed pause from their busy spying lives. The readers get to see them make bolder choices as their relationship becomes stronger. Plus, who doesn’t love the enemies to lovers trope?!

I think what I loved most about this book was that it felt unique and original. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a book where I fell completely in love with the world. Time War felt like a new and fresh take on time travel and the post-apocalyptic world.

You might be wondering why I only gave it 4 bubble teas instead of 5 since I’ve only been raving about it. To be honest, I think it’s because I’m just left wanting more. I want more story, more world building, more action, and more interaction between Blue and Red.

I read the last page and I was just so angry that it was over. I felt cheated that we only got 200 pages! I need this to become 1) A full series and 2) a TV show. I’ll be hoping and wishing I get one or the other!


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