Book: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Genre: Fantasy/Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Where to even begin with this book. I have a hard time putting into words how much I seriously enjoyed and loved this book but I am going to do my best shot. Before I do that though here is the Goodreads summary of the book:
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.
There were so many things done well in this book, and like the cover blurb says, it is near perfection. The things that I really loved most was the character of Linus and his perspective, the idea of “found family” and the writing style of TJ Klune in general.
Right from the start I was hooked on the character of Linus and his perspective of life and his job. The images that were first brought to mind actually mimicked that of a Pixar short Inner Workings (linked below).
Linus is such a lovable and wonderful character in that he does what he thinks is best. He works and works for DICOMY for 17 years, not questioning anything, working hard and not trying for any kind of raise or promotion. Through his work he is brought to the orphanage/home run by Arthur Parnassus. While there the change that comes over Linus is so wonderful. He still works for the children, as before, but he realizes what more he can do in life than just sitting behind a desk. It’s amazing and makes my heart so happy.
The idea of “found family” in this book is incredible as well. As someone who works with students and has an adopted brother this book hit so incredibly close to home. All of these kids, though this is a fantasy novel so they are a little different, were outcasts from society. They were the “weirdest of the weird” magical children and seeing how Arthur takes them in and treats them as his own was a beautiful thing to read. To watch this little family get knit more closely together as the book progressed once again made my heart incredibly happy!
Finally, the overall writing style of Klune is amazing, superior, stupendous and so many other words I could write down. From the first sentence to the last page I felt totally immersed in this world. I don’t know what it is about his writing style and his stories, but it’s like reading pure magic. The characters and this world felt so real and I feel emotionally attached to each and everything I read. Because of this book I have already purchased other books of his and am so excited to continue the journey of reading his novels.
I can’t recommend this book enough and sincerely wish that everyone could read this phenomenal book!