Book Review – The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours
This is without a doubt one of the most wonderful and unique books that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. That is just what this was, an absolute pleasure and a delight! I swear I smiled the whole way through!
“Change often starts with the smallest of whispers. Like-minded people building it up to a roar.”
I finished this story a few days ago and since then I have thought about it a lot and its been difficult to write down my thoughts without just gushing about how much I loved it.
The book follows our “main character”, Linus Baker who works for the government in the Department for the Protection of Magical Youth. He is basically a social worker for magical children.
His life changes dramatically when he is summoned to the offices of “Extremely Upper Management” and sent away on a classified level 4 (extremely secret) mission/case to an orphanage by the sea that is unknown to almost everyone and is the home to children who are not at all like anyone else.
Here you meet characters that are unlike any other you will have encountered or are likely to encounter again. I won’t go into detail about who the children are as I found that one of the most fun and exciting parts of the book and so I do not wish to spoil for potential readers.
The children and Arthur (the man who cares for them) are feared because of who they are and what they can do and it is an absolute joy to learn all about their family and to see Linus’s relationship unfold with them all.
“Don’t you wish you were here?”
The characters won my heart so quickly! Linus seems like an ordinary, by the book character who lives a simple life and follows the rules to the letter. Seeing him open up his heart to this wonderfully diverse cast of orphaned children all with their own unique traits and quirks was just about the most special and heart-warming thing I’ve ever read.
The story sends such a strong message to the reader about labels and discrimination and how you should look past the labels that people give you because there is often so much more to a person than people expect.
There are so many lovely, sweet moments as well as laugh out loud moments especially from Linus and Lucy. Lucy has a dark sense of humour for a 6 year old and it works really well with Talia who is also quite murderous but in these children that is somehow endearing!
The book is full of fun and magic but the characters really are the heart and soul and I guarantee you’ll be crying happy tears by the time it’s all over.
I genuinely couldn’t put it down and I would recommend to anyone who enjoys diverse stories, magic and books about family and love.
“Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”