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Summary

Winner of the 2020 Nebula Award for Best Novella, the Reddit Stabby Award for Best Novella & The British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novella

Two time-travelling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters - and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone. 

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? 

©2019 Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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What listeners say about This Is How You Lose the Time War

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Totally confusing.

Really struggled through this. Felt like I had no clue what was going on for large parts of it. The narrators did there best to keep it interesting but far too convoluted and pretentious for my liking.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Revelatory

Poetry meets prose, hardcore sci-fi. I have never read anything like it and for that I give it top marks. It was masterful, the language was beautiful.
The narrators were perfect.

6 people found this helpful

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Too boring to hold my attention

"Two time-travelling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters" - it shouldn't be possible to make this story boring, and yet somehow it is. I tried my best but after a while the overly wordy and vague narrative just couldn't hold my attention anymore. The narrators are quite good and sort of soothing in a way but that wasn't what I wanted from this purchase.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This how you win the hearts of readers.

Loved this, it lured me in, then swept me away. The universe of this book is intriguing and the rhythm of the prose, as performed by the excellent narrator, was perfect.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A most excellent book

This is the most beautiful book I've ever read and listened to (and I usually don't do romance). But do not try to understand what's happening: The real story is the relationship between the two protoganists.

I'm surprised it worked so well as an audiobook. Even if you read it before I recommend this version, because I think it adds to the story (even though I think the written version is a tiny bit better).

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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delicious

saphic time travelling love...
shame about all the graphic violence.
but concept and delicious prose kept me going.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning and compelling

The love story everyone should hear and feel. Alive with humour, passion and just a touch of snark.

3 people found this helpful

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brilliant

the prose are excellent and the story gripping I can't recommend it enough. it's great

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Back and forth through time and characters

It was a bit confusing at the beginning and in some other points, as I was listening to the audiobook, to discern which of either protagonists was which and what were the stakes. The story starts in the middle of action and doesn't stop to explain, you get pieces of information about the situation and the characters from the narrators' own words to each other and slowly get to connect the dots. A fascinating story, in which the connection between enemies through time and space and war, in the attempt to outsmart each other, creates a bond that changes everything, back to the beginning of their lives.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a gorgeous book

At first I wasn't sure what I was listening to, as I was confused by the time traveling, and the back and forth between the characters. After a few chapters though I was captured by the evolving conversation, that was both poetic and fantastical. I absolutely love this book and reccomend it to anyone who enjoys an alternative love story.

2 people found this helpful