This Is How You Lose the Time War: review

This Is How You Lose the Time War from Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone.

I don’t remember how this book even landed in my to-read list. After asking a few friends who recommended it to me, I gave up. Nobody. One day this book just materialised itself in my wish list. I had no idea who the authors were, nor what it was about. I liked the Red and Blue birds on the cover though.

And that’s it. I went for it. And what a refreshing surprise.

Now, I wish to recommend This Is How You Lose the Time War to everybody, but how to review this book when every word about it can be a spoiler?

So let me be vague:

– I liked it very much
– It involves epistolary romance, time-travel, war and old myths
– You don’t see the time pass (#lol) when you are reading it
– I learned so many new words, that I am looking forward to reuse again

And I will not say anything more about what is inside.

Instead, I want to talk about the hope for the future of literature it gave me. This book is relatively recent – July 2019. So many themes and myths have been retold so many times, but the co authors of this book are managing to give new nice touches to ancient stuff. A wild tornado on dusty covers. I wish Hollywood in its eternal reboot phase would follow the example.

Science fiction and time-travel first. After seeing the movie Primer, which is absolutely the best time-travel movie ever, I thought the topic was closed and nobody could do better. But no, there are still new ideas to write about time-travel, revisiting old classics and bringing the flavours of a new era.

Romance then. This is not usually what I read, although I do have fond memories of les Liaisons Dangereuses from Choderlos de Laclos, which reminded me of this book for so many reason minus the Machiavellian aspect. There is still a lot to write about love, different love.

War. But I have to be honest, I don’t think I have ever read a war book which was not documentary. Conflicts and factions can still be created, with their ideologies and methods. They can still fight for things you will understand later with weapons that have not been invented yet.

Myths, History and Legends are also getting a massive new relecture. A new pair of eyes to tell events differently, beautiful what-if slaps distributed randomly through the collective lore. It’s both exciting and questioning.

If you are the friend who recommend this book to me, I wish to thank you.

But… What if it was me from the future? Well, then, thanks me.

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About Fab

Solutions Architect, I build great workflows for the news and media production industries. I play with data too.

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