Search This Blog

Love reading challenges? Check out my other blog:

2023 Bookish Books Reading Challenge

My Progress:

9 / 30 books. 30% done!

2023 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
- Alaska
- Arizona (1)
- Arkansas
- California (5)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut (1)
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia (1)
- Hawaii
- Idaho
- Illinois
- Indiana
- Iowa (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Kentucky
- Louisiana (1)
- Maine (1)
- Maryland (2)
- Massachusetts (2)
- Michigan (1)
- Minnesota
- Mississippi (1)
- Missouri
- Montana (1)
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York (4)
- North Carolina (3)
- North Dakota
- Ohio (1)
- Oklahoma
- Oregon
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island (1)
- South Carolina (1)
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah
- Vermont (2)
- Virginia
- Washington (2)
- West Virginia (1)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.*


- Australia (3)
- Canada (5)
- England (11)
- France (1)
- Ireland (2)
- Scotland (1)
- South Korea (1)
- The Netherlands (1)
-Vietnam (1)

My Progress:

25 / 51 books. 49% done!

2023 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

19 / 25 books. 76% done!

2023 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

31 / 50 books. 62% done!

Booklist Queen's 2023 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

36 / 52 books. 69% done!

2023 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

40 / 52 books. 77% done!

2023 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

27 / 40 books. 68% done!

2023 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

15 / 40 books. 38% done!

2023 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

7 / 25 books. 28% done!

2023 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

Book Bingo Reading Challenge

19 / 25 books. 76% done!

2023 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

57 / 109 books. 52% done!

Children's Book Reading Challenge...For Adults!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Hawaiian World War II Novel Offers Rich, Atmospheric Setting and Intriguing (Enough) Tale

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When Lana Hitchcock learns her estranged father is dying, she rushes from Oahu to her hometown of Hilo on the Big Island.  Too late to make amends, she's mourning her loss at her childhood home when Pearl Harbor is attacked.  Lana is stunned by the news; even more shocking is her dad's apparent prediction of the war reaching Hawaii's shores.  According to a note he left her, Lana's father built a safe house up in the mountains near an active volcano.  When the police begin rounding up "suspicious" persons for questioning, Lana knows she must act to save her dad's beloved neighbors.  Into her car, she piles two German girls whose parents have been detained, an elderly Japanese man, his adopted teenage son, the girls' oversized dog, two nene geese, and all the food she can stack in among them.  With her heart banging in her chest, she flees to the secret house where she will hide her wards for the duration.  

Numerous surprises await the group in Volcano, including an unfinished house with a secret room, wild horses roaming the property, a nearby military camp turned into internment housing, and the handsome soldier whose attentions to Lana are dangerous for them all.  Can Lana keep the people in her care safe in spite of dwindling rations and soldiers crawling all over Volcano?  Will they be killed outright by Japanese soldiers?  Or will the lot of them be imprisoned by their own countrymen?  With danger around every corner, will Lana lose everything that's important to her?

I've read tons of World War II novels, but very few that focus on life in Hawaii after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Sara Ackerman, who was born and raised in the islands, has written several, including her newest, Red Sky Over Hawaii.  There's a lot to love about this book, from its rich, atmospheric setting, to its dip into fascinating Hawaiian folklore, to its light sprinkling of magical realism.  The fact that it's a clean read filled with likable characters is also a plus.  However, although Ackerman's story people are mostly good and honorable, they're not super rounded or fleshed-out.  I didn't feel like I really knew Lana or her leading man, which made it difficult to detect any chemistry between the two.  Similarly, the book's plot is rather lackadaisical.  Since Lana and company are basically hiding out, hoping not to get caught, not a lot happens to them.  There is never a point in their tale when the reader really has to worry about their well-being, which makes their story a little dull.  Despite these irritants, overall I enjoyed Red Sky Over Hawaii.  I didn't love the book like I wanted to, but I did like it.


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for brief, mild language (no F-bombs), violence, and mild innuendo

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of Red Sky Over Hawaii from the generous folks at Harlequin in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!
Blog Widget by LinkWithin


To Catch a Storm by Mindy Mejia


Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

Followin' with Bloglovin'


Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly

Grab my Button!

Blog Design by:

Blog Archive