enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Jo Walton, Ha'penny

I read this book about 14-Jun-2006. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2006. This note was last modified Tuesday, 06-May-2014 13:05:44 PDT.

This is book 2 of the "Small Change" series.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


I read a first-draft manuscript, and because of that will make very limited comments; it's not fair to tease people with something that's nearly certainly only a year away, and not fair to Jo to comment publicly in any detail on a book that's not actually finished. Still, there are spoilers even so.

This is a sequel to Farthing, picking up immediately after, and focusing on Inspector Carmichael and Viola. The setting is an alternate history where England made peace with Hitler in 1941, and has recently (some key events were in the previous story) gone rather towards the fascist side itself. It's not a pleasant world, and there is, I must say, no bright light visible at the end of the tunnel. It is, however, very well written, and has very very believable human characters. I think it gave me some new insight, at least emotionally, into how people go that far bad.

It seems inevitable that it is in part directed at the current situation in the US, but I don't find that the story is warped to make it work that way; it's just that the issues engaged with are very relevant to us now.

Farthing, incidentally, is coming out next month from Tor.

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David Dyer-Bennet