This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Read before: No
Ownership: Gifted by a good friend for Christmas
Spoiler free review: Yes
This is one of those books that you hear a lot about but then you wonder if the hype is worth it. And for me it definitely was.
The story starts with Red and a mission being completed, and we meet Blue through a letter written for Red which is kind the next chapter). Overall the story intersects a chapter of Red, a letter, one of Blue and then a letter to respond to the previous one.
There is very little background on who they are or why they do what they do initially so it is one of those books that are character driven and the banter and interactions between alongside the slight dose of mytery of “what is exactly going on, and why is all this relevant?” keeps you going, and as things slowly, ever so slowly, in a delicious way, a mix of desperately wanting to win against time and also at the same time slowly unravelling their relationship that spans alongside enemy sides and missions through space and time, this book packs a big punch into a small set of pages.
Because this is one of those books you need to read at least once without being spoiled, I am skipping around the whole plot because to say more than what already has been said, is to deprive you the next reader of the discovery and the good of it. I was unsure at first, but after the first few chapters and once I got used to the pace of the story, I was absolutely hooked and didn’t want to stop reading.
And as soon as I finshed I felt like I had to read it again because I knew that there were clues, so many clues and Easter eggs and little details hidden in each chapter, in each letter that I had probably glossed over and missed thinking them irrelevant or just quirky and suddenly finding them interesting. For the sake of actually reading more of my ever growing collection of books, I did not re-read it as soon as I finished, but I think that will come as my mind remembers, mulls and ponders the story through and decides maybe it needs to read it once again.
Recommended for readers that like a mystery that isnt fully a mystery, books that challenge you in concept and that are out of the ordinary and yet that hold through time and space and that will leave their mark on you. And if you like a bit of action, adventure, time travel and romance.