The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
Fantasy, Magical Realism, LGBTQ+
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.Goodreads
This post contains affiliate links. You can read more on my disclosures page.
I heard raves about this book for a while now, so I had high expectations of The House in the Cerulean Sea. My expectations were surpassed.
This book is terrific. It is written in a way reminiscent of a middle grade or children’s book. I didn’t know exactly what to expect when I picked this up, but it was so much more than expected. At first, I wasn’t sure about Linus, he seemed like such a weak and well dull character, but as the story unfolds, I saw how wrong I was.
I loved all of the characters in this book. The children especially were terrific! It is hard to choose a favorite of the children, but I think Chauncey is my favorite.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a book with a message, but it shares this message in such an entertaining way that it doesn’t feel preachy. I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator does a beautiful job. Each character had a unique voice, and while there were a couple of times where it sounded like the voices got a little mixed, it was not enough to make it distracting.
I would highly recommend this book to the four or so people who haven’t read it yet.