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This Is How You Lose the Time War
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August 2019: 21st Century > This is how you lose the Time war, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone, 5 exploding stars

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message 1: by NancyJ (last edited Aug 31, 2019 01:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5025 comments This book is a delicious treat. The prose is gorgeous - playful, sharp, visceral, romantic, colorful and exciting. The story is simple, and rich, and unexpected. Red and Blue are female agents on opposite sides of the time war, changing or destroying different strands of time to change the world "down strand" to meet the goals of their sides (Agency vs Garden). They can't be seen together but they send magical letters in tea leaves, flames, and seeds. Taunting, teasing, warning, affectionate letters, full of yearning:

"Hunger, Red -to sate a hunger or to stoke it, to feel hunger as a furnace, to trace its edges like teeth - is this a thing you, singly, know? Have you ever had a hunger that whetted itself on what you fed it, sharpened so keen and bright it might split you open, break a new thing out?"

The audio is seductive, with two different narrators. I enjoyed the words even when I didn't really know what was going on. I'm glad I also had the print book to figure out some of the words and wordplay.

"How many boards would the Mongols hoard if the Mongol horde got bored."

I don't think I caught all the historical references, but they both met Genghis Khan, and both tried to save or destroy extreme variations of the Island of Atlantis. I don't usually read sci-fi, but I have to explore other books by these incredible writers.


message 2: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (joabroda1) | 7261 comments I am now very anxious to read this! Great review


message 3: by Hebah (new) - added it

Hebah (quietdissident) | 675 comments I got an early copy of this and enjoyed it. El-Mohtar is a poet primarily (and it shows); Gladstone writes wicked smart secondary-world fantasy with magic and bureaucracy and some really well-drawn complex female characters. I haven't read far in his Craft Sequence books, but I've loved what I read so far.


NancyJ (nancyjjj) | 5025 comments It's not for everyone, or for every mood. I'm not sure I would have liked it two years ago. I seem to have turned a corner with a new appreciation of creative prose.

Hebah, I put the first Craft book on my tbr even though the description doesn't sound like anything I read. But it reminds me of a TV show I liked 20 years ago - Angel (and Buffy the Vampire Slayer).


message 5: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2223 comments Ooh, this sounds like a lot of fun! Thanks, Nancy!


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