Title: The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Tor Books
Length: 400 Pages
At a Glance: Oh dear, this dear and enchanting book. If you head into The House in the Cerulean Sea and allow your heart to take the lead, TJ Klune will handle it with care every step of the way.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He’s tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.
Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place―and realizing that family is yours.
Review: To quote Mr. Linus Baker, “Oh dear.”
Linus is in the employ of the government. He works for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, and it’s his job to follow the Rules and Regulations. And, along with following the Rules and Regulations, he is to remain objective at all times while evaluating those orphanages that serve magical youth and ensure the children are being taken care of in a way that…well…that adheres to the Rules and Regulations set forth by the DICOMY. And if he doesn’t follow up on those assignments and the welfare of the children once his decisions have been handed down…well…it’s not that he doesn’t care. It’s merely that he has absolute faith in the integrity of the system he serves.
In case it isn’t clear enough, Linus Baker is a by-the-book company man, in the most literal sense. He carries that brick of a tome titled Rules and Regulations with him everywhere he goes, even though he has it memorized. This doesn’t mean Linus lacks compassion, though. It doesn’t mean he is cold, callous or distant, or that he’s driven solely by the requirements of his job. It merely means he covets his routine and, while he only wants the best for the children, he doesn’t allow his heart to overrule his head.
Until Linus is given an assignment that will change his life forever.
Oh dear. Oh my dear. This wonderous book and all the characters who inhabit it. TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea is a story about so many things. It’s the story of a man who learns that Rules and Regulations don’t necessarily beget an ordered and happy life. It’s the story about what it means to be different, and the prejudice of those who fear people they are taught to see as othered. It is the story of a group of precious and delightful children who dream; they are dreamers who deserve to be loved and accepted for who they are, not for how they are supposed to be. It is the story of a Sprite who opened her island and her arms to those children—something not inherent in her nature—so they would each have a safe place to dream and grow. And it is the story of a man, Arthur Parnassus, who has made it his mission to create a home of the house in the cerulean sea for those precious and delightful children. Because Arthur knows precisely what it is they all need.
Even a six-year-old Antichrist named Lucy.
Oh dear, this dear and enchanting book. If you head into The House in the Cerulean Sea and allow your heart to take the lead, TJ Klune will handle it with care every step of the way. There is not only a wealth of imagination to embrace in this story, but there is an abundance of joy and kindness to be found here as well. This novel is comprised of hope, down to its very core, and it is delivered in the capable hands of the children who will go on to teach the adults a most valuable lesson in love and acceptance. And not only that, but they all teach Linus how not to be afraid to jump heart first and know that he’ll find a safe place to land.
If anyone had told me that I’d end up falling head over heels in love with a garden gnome, a forest sprite, a wyvern, a shapeshifter, a Chauncey (?), and the son of the devil, I might have scoffed. Loudly and dismissively. But embodied within each of these children is a virtue that I embraced with delight—even if they presented those virtues in, let’s just say, some rather offbeat ways. It wouldn’t be a TJ Klune book, after all, if readers weren’t made to cackle on one page and be left crying the next. The House in the Cerulean Sea is replete with empathy and compassion and finding the pure delight and wonder of the simplest things in life. It is the story of a group of children who change hearts and minds, and who give the two men who are committed to their security and happiness a lesson in courage so they can carry on to their happy ever after.
To quote Mr. Linus Baker’s mouse pad, “Don’t you wish you were here?” You should. You most certainly should.
You can buy The House in the Cerulean Sea here:
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