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This Is How You Lose the Time War

Length: 4 hrs and 16 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

Non-member price: $25.82

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the 2020 Nebula Award for Best Novella, the Reddit Stabby Award for Best Novella & The British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novella

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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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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Excellent sci fi love story

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

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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.

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  • Laura
  • 26-10-2019

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • DeadNotSleeping
  • 09-11-2019

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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • D. Davidson
  • 17-06-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jenamylou
  • 12-05-2020

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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  • Mrs Cathy
  • 22-04-2020

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Stevan
  • 15-03-2020

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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  • Milena Popova
  • 17-02-2020

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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  • Michela
  • 12-01-2020

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.

1 person found this helpful

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  • R. Maines
  • 17-11-2019

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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  • JP
  • 18-09-2020

Wow. Just wow

So unusual, great writing, incredibly intricate, totally different from anything I have ever read before. I also love the narrator's in this despite the reviews I saw saying they were dull, they do such a great job of making this real. Thumbs up from me