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Ha'penny (Small Change, #2)
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(Small Change #2)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,010 ratings  ·  322 reviews
In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dicatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.
The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published October 2nd 2007 by Tor Books
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3.90  · 
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 ·  2,010 ratings  ·  322 reviews

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Description: In 1949, eight years after the "Peace with Honor" was negotiated between Great Britain and Nazi Germany by the Farthing Set, England has completed its slide into fascist dictatorship. Then a bomb explodes in a London suburb.

The brilliant but politically compromised Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard is assigned the case. What he finds leads him to a conspiracy of peers and communists, of staunch King-and-Country patriots and hardened IRA gunmen, to murder Britain’s Prime Minister
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Barbara by: Susan Drees
After reading Jo Walton's Farthing (Small Change, #1) by Jo Walton, I was pleased to discover that it was #1 of a trilogy. This sequel is no less disturbing. It is set in a world that might have been , a society which has tried to trade freedom for security, but fails at both. One reviewer described this set as parahistorical , but while it can be viewed as an historical fantasy, aside from the alternate history and world, it is chilling and unfortunately very real.

I will not dwell on the plot, nor the mystery associated with it,
Book Riot Community
The second book in Jo Walton’s Small Change trilogy is even better than the first. An alternate history set in a world where Britain made peace with Germany during World War II, shows how people respond as fascist rule begins to take hold following the events in Farthing. Inspector Peter Carmichael of Scotland Yard finds himself chasing terrorists who, it turns out, were planning to kill Hitler, an objective he sympathizes with. At the same time, the politically apathetic actress Viola Lark is p ...more
Aurélien Thomas
In an England that not only made peace with Nazi Germany but, is also about to welcome Hitler and some of his henchmen at the heart of London, lurks an underground and terrorist plot involving a mismatch of idealists that inspector Carmichael is assigned to uncover.

Sure, Walton takes here some easy liberty (e.g. the sister of one of the main plotters is married to Himmler, another to a physicist working on atoms...). It's a bit disappointing because too obvious a thing to do but, by contrast, he
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Artistic souls
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
I'm afraid I got a little sloppy, back in 2008. I did not write a separate review of Ha'penny when I read it the first time. Instead, I just mentioned it as an aside in my original review of Farthing. But that was an oversight, I'll admit, one that does the central volume of Jo Walton's Small Change trilogy a significant disservice. Ha'penny very much has its own voice, and deserves to be considered on its own.

It is a darker work, this middle third. Ha'penny is set just a few weeks after the end
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I found this second book in Jo Walton's "Small Change" trilogy increasingly difficult to put down. From something which I expected would take me a few days to read, it became a book which I devoured in three sittings - the last half of it in a single sitting.

The first book in the trilogy, Farthing, created the world of the novel: a world in which England made peace with Nazi Germany in 1941 and is sliding towards becoming a fascist state in 1949. Farthing was written in the style of a Golden Ag
Jamie Collins
This is the second book of this trilogy set in an alternate timeline where Britain has made peace with Hitler. This is readable enough, but it’s depressing as hell, and has a protagonist I didn’t believe in.

This book takes place a couple of weeks after the events in Farthing. We’re introduced to another young aristocratic woman who has defied her family - this one has become a theater actress and changed her name. She’s plausibly uninterested in politics and more concerned with her upcoming play
I read Farthing when it came out and thought it was brilliant. On rereading it, I still think so, and Ha'penny is just as good. Farthing's plot was a country-house mystery; I would call Ha'penny more of a suspense thriller, and full of suspense it is, right up to the explosive ending.

It follows on quite shortly after Farthing: Inspector Carmichael has just come off the Farthing case and has been assigned to a bombing which killed leading actress Lauria Gilmore. Viola Lark has been chosen to act
Jun 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I tore through this one, and I'm tempted to go straight to the library for the third. This book suffers only a little bit from middleoftrilogyitis, mostly manifest in my desire to find out what happens in the final volume.

The trilogy's apparent structure is clever. This book, like the first one, has a split narrative; also like the first it alternates between a first person protagonist and a third person protagonist. The third person narrator, a Scotland Yard detective named Carmichael, is the
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Leseparatist by: kari
Shelves: owned, 2016
I don't read too many thrillers, but this one reminded me of the experience I would have with them as a teen, usually resorting to a thriller after I'd read through my stash and had to borrow books from camp friends. Summer, days before smartphones (or personal computers!), hardly any TV, no work school, reading hundreds of pages a day.

It was a bit more pessimistic than I like my books, but once again, perfectly fitting for 2016, reminding us of the danger of letting excessive fear guide your ch
Nick Davies
Apr 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Aspects of this I liked quite a lot - the plot was interesting (though somewhat similar to the film 'Inglourious Basterds'), there was a decent building of suspense throughout, and it was sprinkled with delightful little bits of writing, stylish moments where everything clicked and was convincing. These however were mixed in with quite a lot which didn't really work for me. Alternate timelines can work well if convincing, and this mainly succeeded, but there seemed to be a necessity to explain a ...more
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
(view spoiler)

"'And that's what Normanby's trying to make himself, with all this hysteria about terrorists and the new laws. And you just swallow it, maybe with a little grimace, but down it goes like cough medicine. England is like a country of sleepwalkers, walking over the edge of a cliff, and has been these last eight years. You're prosperous, you're content, and you don't care what's going on the other side of the
I didn't like Ha'penny as much as Farthing -- I didn't devour it in the same way: it wasn't as compulsive a read, and besides, everyone's politics are getting a little bit murky. Viola, the first person POV character, isn't as likeable as Lucy -- she's not as amusing to read about, and her convictions are murky, and she gives in all too easily. It's understandable. Probably most people who read this and criticise her for giving in would give in themselves, hoping to earn a few more weeks of life ...more
Jan 23, 2016 rated it liked it
Overall this book is weaker than its prequel. The characters were unconvincing to me, and I just cannot believe that Viola would fall so completely for a guy, charming as he may have been, who kidnaps her and threatens her with violence. Stockholm syndrome notwithstanding. Even though I preferred Viola’s voice to that of the female lead in the first in this series, I found her shallow and too easily influenced by others, especially her nasty sisters. I didn't mind that Viola seemed uninterested ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read the first in this series pre-Trump America and I liked it but wow - reading this series in our current political climate is a whole other experience. A chilling look at how apathy shapes society - but also a really great mystery with a compelling central character.
Ako išta, još bolje, još ozbiljnije, još uvjerljivije od prvog dijela. Jo se stvarno potrudila (re)konstruirati period o kojem piše. Nisam baš siguran za ponašanje glavnog lika, ali hej, nisam žensko.
Peter Tillman
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A much darker book than the first, and not much fun to read. I may have further thoughts, but I'm in no hurry to read the concluding volume. Though I expect I will.
I loved Farthing, the first book in this series, despite avoiding alternate history and especially anything involving Nazis and WWII like the plague. In Farthing, Jo Walton took a classic British country house mystery and used it to divert the reader from all the subtly horrifying alternate history world-building going on at the edges, then brought all the alternate history aspects to the fore in the final third like a punch to the gut. It was one of the best books I've read all year.

In this seq
I kind of liked the first book in this trilogy. I didn't like this one nearly so much. (I loathed the third one, but I'll get to that in due time.) It takes place not so long after the first one, and the story now centers around an actress who finds herself embroiled in an anarchist plot to kill Hitler. Meanwhile, she is slated to star as a revolutionary female Hamlet, and while that was almost a saving grace … the author's knowledge of Shakespeare, and Hamlet, let her down, which let me down.

Mal Warwick
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Alternate history is a curious branch of science fiction — or, perhaps more properly, of speculative fiction. Because the factor that limits the author’s imagination aren’t the boundaries of science but those of history itself: reality. To work, alternate history must be believable in the context of what we know of our past. In Ha’penny, the second volume of her Farthing Trilogy, accomplished British science fiction and fantasy writer Jo Walton has achieved that, and more. She has written a grip ...more
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read Farthing last month, and straight away I added the next book to Mount TBR. Well, the second I finished this I almost grabbed the third in the series to start reading it. In fact, had it not been for the fact that I didn’t have it with me, and had time left on my lunch for reading, I would probably have dived right into the third book. Because I loved this one. I mean, I really liked Farthing, it was great, but this one is even better in some respects.

It is certainly darker.

And yet despite
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Sep 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-genre
The standout book of this series. This book was brilliant in a way that the first (Farthing) and third (Half a Crown) were not. Also, if you don't love the awesomeness of the cover — a vintage photo of an advertising-crowded street which includes an ad proclaiming that Guinness is good for you — then I don't mean to judge, but really, you should probably have that checked out. And when I say "that" I mean "your improperly functioning sense of what is funny and/or awesome."

One of the viewpoint ch
Brigid Keely
"Ha'Penny" is the second book in Jo Walton's "Small Change" series, a trilogy that explores an alternate world where England and Germany sign an accord during WWII, the USA remains incredibly isolationist, Germany takes over much of Europe, and England slides further and further into fascism.

As with "Farthing," the protagonist is a (female) member of the upper class who takes a while to figure out what's going on and then come down firmly on the "anti-fascism" side of things. It's interesting wa
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british, dark, drama, mystery
I ❤❤❤ Jo Walton.

Incredible that this book is a decade old, and yet feels like it's speaking directly to who and where we are today.

"What if the Nazis won" is a well-worn alternate history trope, that's certainly intriguing, but also somewhat self contained -- it stays firmly in the fairly simple confines of "gee, Nazis are bad."

Ha'penny asks, instead, "What if we just kind of... got along with the Nazis? What if we declared that Hitler was basically OK, as long as he didn't threaten us?" And th
A solid but unremarkable sequel to Farthing, Ha'penny suffers somewhat from middle-book-in-a-trilogy syndrome. Between that, the constraints of the historical background Walton has established, and a loss of subtlety in the political elements, I found the plot rather predictable and that robbed the ending somewhat of its tension. I also wish that Walton would get someone Irish to check over her work, because there are subtle things she gets wrong about her Irish characters which were jarring for ...more
Sep 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been working on this in between all the YA books I've been reading and even though I've been reading it for weeks, the minute I opened it again I was immediately immersed in Walton's alternate world. In Farthing, the first book, Walton set out a world in which the Farthing Peace treaty is reached in WWII and Britain is now ruled by a dictatorship lead by Normanby, an ally of Hitler. There is increasing suppression of Jews, homosexuals, and anyone born outside England. Ha'penny follows the f ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second of Jo Walton's stunning trilogy set in a horrifying alternate universe of British Fascism and a world dominated by Hitler and the Nazis.

Like Farthing, it's very effectively told in alternating chapters narrated in the first person by a young woman, in this case the aristocratic actress Viola Lark, and in the third person by Inspector Carmichael of Scotland Yard, who is the one main character in all three novels.

Unlike Farthing, which was in the style of a classic British murder myster
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litlit, candy, sff, x1000
Solid story, and I like something in her writing, some kind of deceptive simplicity, that works so well for this topic. My worry in the first book was that she wouldn't justify the invocation of fascism - I think there are many books set in the WWII era that use the setting merely as a plot device, which is vile. But Walton builds slowly to show the gradual normalization of terrifying things, and all of that combines to find new ways to pierce perception and promote insight. I don't know, I gues ...more
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Deuxième tome après Le Cercle de Farthing. On retrouve le même procédé que dans le premier : deux narrateurs se succèdent pour donner deux visions parallèles de l'intrigue. Une femme (Viola Lark ici) à la première personne et l'inspecteur Carmichaël à la troisième personne. Cela ne marche pas aussi bien que dans le premier car Viola Lark ne mène pas l'enquête comme Lucy Khan du premier tome, mais l'histoire est passionnante tout de même et traduit, même si c'est une uchronie, les différentes sen ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I liked it!

Side note: I had recently finished reading a book about the Mitford sisters, and I would not be surprised if the sisters in this book were based on them. So, that was kind of fun.
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Jo Walton writes science fiction and fantasy novels and reads a lot and eats great food. It worries her slightly that this is so exactly what she always wanted to do when she grew up. She comes from Wales, but lives in Montreal.

Other books in the series

Small Change (3 books)
  • Farthing (Small Change, #1)
  • Half a Crown (Small Change, #3)