The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

Fantasy, 394 pages, published in 2020

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.

Spoiler Free Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content Warnings: child abuse (mentioned)

I feel like everyone and their mother has read and loved this book and I’m glad I finally got to it because I LOVED it as well!

This book keeps getting labelled as YA for some reason, but the main character is in his 40’s, which is not something I typically go for. It does have a pretty light feeling overall, even though it does deal with some hard topics, such as child abuse and neglect and discrimination.

The world this story is set in felt a lot like the world in A Series of Unfortunate Events. It could be our world, but some things are just a little different. I think it was the perfect choice for a story about a house for magical children.

The found family in the book was absolutely the best. All of the children have their own clear personalities and relationships with each other and all of the adults were just so wholesome and caring.

I also see a lot of people call this a romance, and while there is a romantic element to it, I don’t think that’s necessarily true. It doesn’t feel like the sole focus of the story.

The overall vibe was very hopeful, yet realistic. I think this will be a book that I come back to many times in the future and I will definitely be checking out more books by this author.

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2 thoughts on “The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

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