Book Reviews

Review: Nostalgia is Heartless by Sarah Lahey

Okay if you tell me an AI meerkat, you will always get me. Come on. What could be better? Nostalgia is Heartless is 100% able to be read without reading the first! It’s a book that I wasn’t sure where it was going until the end! Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Earth, 2050. Pregnant, unemployed, and living back home with her father, climate scientist Quinn Buyers wonders how she got to this point in her life. Her famous scientist mother is mysteriously missing, the planet is at risk from a massive solar storm, the Transhumans want to take a colony to Titan, and her assisted living companion, a robotic meerkat, is showing clear signs of anxiety and depression. But her biggest challenge is her partner. How can she reconcile her long-distance relationship with this reserved, enigmatic cyborg?

The sequel to Sarah Lahey’s debut novel and the second book in the Heartless Series, Nostalgia is Heartless delves into the world of the near future, exploring a society on the brink of climate catastrophe. This time, Quinn’s adventures take her across the globe to Antarctica . . . where it rains all day, every day. Readers will delight in following Quinn’s journey as she races to save her family, her planet, and — hopefully — her love life.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

My favorite element of Nostalgia is Heartless has to be the world building. Even dropped in without reading the first, there was depth and intrigue from the beginning. I loved the mix of the Earth’s clime destruction with the ultra high technology world of cyborgs and AI. And it just gets better as the book goes on – especially towards the end. The world building just got more intriguing as Nostalgia is Heartless progresses.

While I was swept away by wanting to see how the world unfolds, and the pacing of the action is almost non-stop, I wish there had been more character depth. I enjoyed the way that Lahey takes us on a high stakes adventure – while weaving in elements from the first – but I just wish we had more moments of character introspection. I wanted to connect with them, especially Quinn. Rarely do I find a pregnant MC in SF novels and so I wanted to just fall in love with her.

And while I enjoyed her actions and decisions, they were revealing who she was a character, I was missing that gut, “OMG will she be okay?” feeling. Part of what gives my reading that can’t-put-it-down feeling is this pull to the characters. Throughout Nostalgia is Heartless the main pull I felt was towards the action – which kept surprising me – and the world building intrigue. Which meant that while I wanted to keep reading, there wasn’t that same obsession.

If you are searching for a very intriguing world premise which asks questions about AI and technology, then check out Nostalgia is Heartless. There’s also so much going on at the end which I am still processing! It’s certainly a book that delivers action and intrigue, so good for people who are searching for a fun SF adventure.

Find Nostalgia is Heartless on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite adult SF adventure?

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