Under the Blood-Red Sun | Graham Salisbury | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Under the Blood-Red Sun | Graham Salisbury | Audiobook ReviewUnder the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury
Series: Prisoners Of The Empire #1
Narrator: Greg Watanabe
Length: 6 Hours 18 Minutes
Published by Random House Children's Books on December 30th 2008
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, General
Pages: 272
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780307548528

Tomi was born in Hawaii. His grandfather and parents were born in Japan, and came to America to escape poverty.
World War II seems far away from Tomi and his friends, who are too busy playing ball on their eighth-grade team, the Rats.
But then Pearl Harbor is attacked by the Japanese, and the United States declares war on Japan. Japanese men are rounded up, and Tomi’s father and grandfather are arrested. It’s a terrifying time to be Japanese in America. But one thing doesn’t change: the loyalty of Tomi’s buddies, the Rats.

Why Did I Listen To Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury?

Under The Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury is a book that I decided to listen to for a sort of shallow reason. The reason being the book cover. I love how this cover is put together and feels kind of retro. There is sort of a sense of urgency with the cover — and the red is just so eyecatching. So, being the shallow magpie that I am, I put Under The Blood-Red Sun on my iPhone and let it sit until something a bit more pressing besides the book cover had me ready to listen to it. I found myself really in the mood for a historical fiction read, and because I like to hop genres with audiobooks – meaning that unless I am listening to a series, I prefer the books I listen to have variety. And well, here we are.

What’s The Story Here?

Under The Blood-Red Sun is about this boy named Tomi. Tomi is a kid who was born in Hawaii, however, his parents are Japanese and have immigrated to Hawaii. Typically, Tomi is proud of his family and his heritage. However, as this book opens, there are tensions going on because of World War II, culminating in a bombing of Pearl Harbor, near where Tomi lives. Due to his ethnic background, Tomi experiences negative repercussions because of this. Also, his grandfather is still loyal to the Empire, kind of. I mean, he finds family honor and loyalty to be very important. This puts his grandfather at risk and the family in a tough situation. So, anyways, this is a book about a Japanese American boy living in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbor bombing and just beginning to experience internment via his father and grandfather. Oh, and there is also a great deal of baseball involved in this story.

How Did I Like Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury?

I liked Under The Blood-Red Sun okay. I mean, I probably will not listen to the sequels because this book did not wow me. I thought the subject matter was fascinating. I felt empathy for Tomi and his situation. He straddles the line between wanting to be a good American but also loving his family and his heritage. Further, he experiences racism and xenophobia, almost, from his neighbors. I can see the parallel today for certain. Furthermore, I felt like this book while interesting never made me want to listen during a time that I was not driving or cleaning or showering. I just never got fully into it.

How’s The Narration?

Graham Salisbury’s book is narrated by Greg Watanabe. This is the first time I’ve listened to a book narrated by Watanabe. I thought he did a believable job narrating Under The Blood-Red Sun. He adds a bit of action and some up and down dynamic to his voice. He inhabits Tomi’s character which is a good thing. However, I will admit to finding my attention wandering while listening to this audiobook. Can’t win them all, I guess.

Sum It Up With A GIF:


Merely okay.

Other Reviews Of Under the Blood-Red Sun by Graham Salisbury:

Fill Your Bookshelf – The point of view was unique and quite fascinating.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. […] am not a baseball person by any means, despite the hall of fame being so close. Maybe that is why I did not […]

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