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Publisher's Summary

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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Sending letters from everywhen

When I started this book, I expected epic battles between rivals over the span of world's. Fought from the backs of majestic beasts of myth or in starship strewn space or both! What I got was better. How do I explain how this book (this audio book in fact - the performances added something that made the experience almost spiritual) made me feel? I started this book when I was driving to work today morning. I finished it just before I left work to return home. I felt as if I was floating through my day, barely tethered to this reality. I felt suspended in time.

Most importantly this book made me feel so so gay!

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Poetically Beautiful

The narration and the story is heart felt beauty. And concept alone is award worthy. Love it. Must read.

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Is Romeo and Juliet a tragedy or a comedy now?

how do you write a story spanning millennia in a hundred pages. how do you weave love as true as the metaphors used. this is how you write a love story.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Laura
  • 26-10-19

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • DeadNotSleeping
  • 09-11-19

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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  • D. Davidson
  • 17-06-20

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs Cathy
  • 22-04-20

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.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Michela
  • 12-01-20

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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  • Jenamylou
  • 12-05-20

Stunning and compelling

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stevan
  • 15-03-20

brilliant

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mx Tez
  • 08-12-20

delicious

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Milena Popova
  • 17-02-20

soul-destroyingly good

This is a soul-destroyingly good book, and the audio production definitely does it justice. Excellent choice of voice actors, both do a superb job.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Maines
  • 17-11-19

Lovely

Wasn’t sure this story would live up to the hype but glad I was wrong.

Narration was great as well.

Recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-03-20

Beautifully structured

Like an elegant equation or carefully designed program, this narrative loops forward and back towards a fascinating end. I want to re-listen as soon as it ends.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-21

The perfect romance through time

Silky smooth prose and a beautiful inevitable love story. I love this book with all my heart.

great performances. I think the performance for Blue was better than Red, but overall, pretty great.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-03-21

I keep going back for more...

I have listened to this book at least three times and am now into my fourth! It is beautiful, brutal, abstract and delicious.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-01-21

Fantastic

Compelling, poetic and exciting. A great concept executed beautifully. Also, not overly long. Not just for scifi fans either.

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  • Daylan
  • 02-01-21

Cool concept, annoyingly executed

I hated this. Had so much potential but the story was told in a far too floral way. Would love to see this executed by a great sci fi writer rather than a college poet. I stuck with it until the end in the hope the author would tap into the potential of the concept, but instead it just kept on creeping up its own ass with pretentious prose. I feel annoyed for having finished this and even more annoyed for a squandered concept.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-09-20

Excellent sci fi love story

Narrators were the perfect choice. Story gripped me and had me laughing and crying. Stunning.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-05-20

Beautiful, but boring

Indistinguishable characters, I was surprised that these were written by two different people. Not sure if that's because of the writing or the narration. Inconsequential actions and uneventful story. Kept waiting for it to pick up, and only finished it for a book club.