Caidyn (he/him/his)'s Reviews > This Is How You Lose the Time War

This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar
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bookshelves: arc, from-publisher-or-author, sci-fi, queer-reads

I received an ARC through BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review!

3.5/5

Wow, so, this book. I honestly don't know what to think of it. The book follows two futuristic women who are a part of opposite cultures (that's what I'm calling them) and are supposed to be enemies. Red works for the Agency while Blue works for the Garden. I'll be honest, I never quite got them down until twenty to thirty pages from the end. That was when I got things down. But, Blue leaves a letter for Red and, after that, they keep up a correspondence despite knowing that they shouldn't, falling in love along the way despite never really meeting.

The thing that made the book and killed it (for me) was the prose. It was beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Yet, half of the time, flowery prose makes my eyes glaze over. That meant I could only read a few chapters at a time, which is hard because I fully believe that this book is best experienced reading it in one sitting.

I also never quite got invested in the characters or their relationship. The prose and just the way it was told -- letters and single person perspectives -- kept me too distant. It doesn't help that about 80% of the book is setting the stage for the ending, which is hard because it felt plotless for most of the time.

Yes, I liked it. And I think I'd reread it because it really is a gorgeous book. That's why I think it's going to go over very well with people who are interested in this kind of book. It might be one of those that I might enjoy more on a reread.
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Reading Progress

June 20, 2019 – Started Reading
June 20, 2019 – Shelved
June 20, 2019 – Shelved as: arc
June 20, 2019 – Shelved as: from-publisher-or-author
June 20, 2019 – Shelved as: sci-fi
June 20, 2019 – Shelved as: queer-reads
June 20, 2019 –
page 15
7.18% "This is going to be one of those books I'm going to have to read in, like one or two days, isn't it?"
June 21, 2019 –
page 71
33.97% "This book is fine and I like how it's told, but the prose is just... not for me. I don't like this writing style."
June 22, 2019 –
page 95
45.45% "I can only read this a little bit at a time because it's so dense and poetry makes my eyes glaze over."
June 22, 2019 –
page 208
99.52% "Finished! I need to think on this one since I liked it at times and other times I wasn't into it. RTC!"
June 23, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Emma Yikes, I was planning to read via Audible but looking at your notes about how the novel is structured makes me nervous to try that. Maybe I should stick with reading a print version?


Caidyn (he/him/his) Hmm, I don't know! If the print or audio version doesn't work, you could always try the other to see if it's better.


message 3: by JFW (new) - rated it 4 stars

JFW Hey, I saw that you shelved this as "arc" -- did you get a paperback Advanced Reading Copy of this book?

I'm trying to confirm whether physical ARCs were sent out or not.

Thanks for your response in advance!


Caidyn (he/him/his) Yes, I received a physical ARC of this one before it was published.


message 5: by JFW (new) - rated it 4 stars

JFW Is it possible you'd be interested in selling it to me? I've been trying to pick up an ARC copy of this book as it would make a perfect gift for someone special who's an ARC collector. Please let me know, thank you!


Caidyn (he/him/his) 1. I don't sell ARCs. That's not something people do or should do ethically.
2. I already gave it away to someone who wanted it.


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