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

Oli Steadman
1 min readJan 6, 2022

Tim Ferris recommended this in a 5-Bullet Friday, with a firm warning not to read or seek out any blurbs & previews as to its content. My ears were pricked and I began enjoying in July 2021.

With that warning in mind I won’t go into any detail on its characters or plot, except to say their complexity was best enjoyed with full focus, in the course of a day off from doing anything else. You’ll want to give this your full attention, taking a break or going for a walk with headphones. No cooking soundtrack, this.

The story inspired me to look back into entire genres I’d neglected for years. Followed it up with Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke, the precursor to so many of the science-fiction tropes we see in films from Arrival to Independence Day.

The (highly listenable) audiobook is narrated by Cynthia Farrell and Emily Woo Zeller. I’ve since listened through it again and was even more impressed the second time around.