Review: This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

Anna: What would you do for love?

This is How You Lose the Time War is the most imaginative book I’ve read in a long time. It reminded me why sci-fi  is such an amazing genre that I need to explore more. It also has LGBTQ+ rep!

Summary: Red and Blue are change agents who work for rival time traveling agencies–Blue for the Garden, a vast organic consciousness. Red works for the Agency, a Technotopia. While traveling to different “strands” of history and time to change history, they start to write each other letters and slowly fall in love.

The actual rules and word building in This is How You Lose the Time War is super confusing at first and very slowly revealed to the reader. I didn’t know what was going on for a while, but that’s okay. This book is more about the lyrical writing and the vivid, visceral images of time traveling and Red and Blue’s romance that literally stands the test of time. This is ultimately a “star-crossed” lovers narrative, but it’s not tropey at all. This book takes work to get through, but it’s rewarding and worth it.

I also think it’s so cool that this book was co-written! As a writer, I can’t imagine creating such a complex world and story in the first place, but also doing it so seamlessly with another writer.

Verdict: 4 stars

Review: Lightbringer by Claire Legrand

Alexis:

It’s official—I’ve been destroyed by this series. This book gave me my first book hangover in a good while.

Legrand went ham in this last book. Like in Kingsbane, the characters go through so much trauma in Lightbringer. 

The first half was a little slow. Rielle was insufferable. And I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending. Yet…I was so caught up in the story.  I loved the plot twists!

If you’re looking to read a fantasy trilogy with flawed and morally gray characters, time travel, angels, powerfully magical women, elemental magic, and super high stakes, then this is the series for you.

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

TW: Blood, depression, gore, grief, murder, self-harm, suicidal ideation, torture, violence, and war

#tbt- Kindred by Octavia Butler

Alexis:

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to take some time to talk about an important writer.

Last year, I read Kindred by Octavia Butler, the pioneer of African-American women science fiction writers.

Kindred deals with a smorgasbord of hard topics: slavery, racism, rape, and death. Butler utilizes time travel in order to explore the ancestors of Dana, the main character, who were slaves in the American South. The result is a harrowing read that explores the horrors of slavery and the interconnection of past and present.

If you’re looking for a good read to finish out the month of February, check it out!