Ask a Bookseller: a sci-fi romance that steers clear of gender

A book cover with birds on it
"This is How You Lose the Time War" by Mal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Courtesy of publisher

Brooklyn Lindsey of Crash Books in Lakeland, Florida calls “This is How You Lose the Time War” a time-traveling love letter.

The novel by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone follows a series of letters exchanged between Red and Blue, who are on opposite sides of a massive time war. Part of what makes this star-crossed-lovers novel interesting, Brooklyn says, is that the authors take care not to place gender to these two characters. The two go to creative and appropriately sci-fi lengths to keep their correspondence secret. If discovered, their bond could spell their deaths. Or, it could change everything.

“It’s probably one of the most interesting works of fiction I’ve read in a long time, and it’s beautifully written,” Lindsey said. The novel is studded with pop culture Easter eggs that made her want to go back for a second read.

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