The Official Description: 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.
Just the facts: Queer Fantasy, Great story, as crazy and creative as everything I’ve read by T.J. Klune
This book is absolutely joyous. It is funny, sweet, sad, beautiful and YES, it is as original as all of T.J. Klune’s work.I started this again the moment I finished it. – Kinzie Things
My thoughts bit:
One of the things I love about TJ Klune is the way that he continues to write new stories that surprise me. No one is as original in their storytelling as TJ and I would encourage everyone to read one of his books. Previously, my favorite of his books was “How To Be Normal”… I have to revise that now to say “The House In The Cerulean Sea” is now my favorite. It rings so true for me, and probably for many people.
This story is about finding your place. That’s the long and the short of it. Found family is something that often appears in Klune’s books. The people we love, the people who see us for who we truly are and accept us without hesitation, those are our families.
Linus Baker works for the government. He goes out to orphanages and ensures that the rules and regulations are being followed. He has a set routine. He has a home. He has a cat named Calliope. And then… he is sent to an island … to an orphanage with some very unique children.
I’m not sure what makes this book more special, the children in the house, the Lovely spirt of Arthur Parnassus or the messages. As always TJ welcomes us to a world in which some characters are wonderfully unusual. They face prejudice, they have been mistreated, and they are still finding a way to be loving and unique and marvelous.
All the characters in this book have parts of them that could be considered to be flawed.. but are they really? As Sal says in the story, “Sometimes, things get chipped and broken, but there’s still good in them.”
Sal is a were pomeranian. That alone should be enough to convince you to read this book. How can you not want to know the story of that???? The children are all unique and lovely, I was brought to tears a few times by the interactions that Linus had with the children. My favourite is Theodore the wyvern. This character doesn’t even speak and yet, Klune has created a little soul on the page that will tug at your heartstrings. And Lucy… the antichrist. What can you expect when you read about the antichrist as a six-year-old? You can expect to love him and laugh at his quirkiness. This is the way of TJ Klune.
Definitely add this to your list of books to read this year. It’s a lovely story, full of valuable lessons and moments. I loved it.
Things You May Want To Know: Please be aware, I’m by no means an expert on what may or may not have the potential to disturb people. I simply list things that I think a reader might want to be aware of. In this book: (SPOILERS) bigotry, hostile work environment, what might be considered abuse of a child, religious bigotry.
I received an ARC of The House In the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune from Tor Books via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.