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.
This book has heart. It is charming and delightful and queer and kind and I want to clutch it to my chest and keep it safe forever.
The story is of Linus Baker, who investigates conditions at state-run orphanages. He's very
The narrator did voices so well. The voice of Chauncey, one of the wards on the island, was just hilarious.
I loved the book for its inclusivity, for its wearing down of the objectivity of Linus Baker, for its LGBTQ background. I loved the characters, their warmth, their ability to love. I loved the writing and the narration and the story and.....everything. It was perfect.
It is simply impossible not to fall in love with each one of the orphans or with Linus as everything at the orphanage challenges his worldview. The characters, while mostly consisting of mythical creatures, are delightful. My particular favorites are Talia, with her penchant for mumbling threats under her breath, and Theodore, with his utter delight at receiving a button. The children’s innocence and vulnerability are refreshing and are what lend the story its heart.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is a hopeful story, something we all need as we enter 2021. With many of us having spent the majority of the year at home, its reminder to take the time to see and appreciate all the wonder that exists around us is essential as the walls of our dwellings become less comforting and more constraining every day. Plus, Linus reminds us to fight against injustice because even one whisper can grow into a roar. Again, with everything that happened this year, we need this reminder that our efforts can make a difference, no matter how small they are.
I will be adding The House in the Cerulean Sea to my best reads of 2020 list. Plus, I would love to obtain a permanent copy because it is the type of novel that deserves multiple readings. If you are looking for an excellent book to finish the year or a fantastic first novel for 2021, look no further than The House in the Cerulean Sea.
There's not much else that needs to be said.
It's exactly what I needed, and I'm happy to return it to the library so the next waitlisted person can burn with joy.
This fantasy novel is a lovely and charming LGBTQ tale that is extraordinarily inclusive. Linus is a sweet middle-aged man whose very ordinariness makes him the perfect protagonist for the reader to take in this world through. Largely a gentle narrative where none of the conflict seems unsurmountable, the book is easy to dip in and out of. I can see why readers adore this one but admit that for me it fell somewhere between fine and good on my personal rating scale. I'm not sure how much of that is me rebelling against the hype for it (the book has a blurb declaring it "near perfect" on the cover) and how much of it is my current mood. Don't let my lower level of enthusiasm deter you though - I'm hopeful this book finds many, many readers.
Ahhhh, this book is so lovely! Just heartwarming. It has fantastic characters, a delightful setting, good pacing, moments of delicious humor, and it elicits all manner of happy feels. It is just the sort of book that we all need right now. I thought the ending was maybe a little too perfect, but that's really the only criticism I can level at it, and is that even really a criticism? I can see this book becoming a favorite comfort read for me.
It taught me so many things, reinforced notions I had left by the wayside. It shone a light on the virtue of bravery and reminds us that in the face of adversity it separates the strong from the weak.
I chuckled, chortled, laughed, snickered, shook my head, wept, cried, raged at the moon and stars.
When someone says” Leave, we don’t want you here – the only appropriate answer is: “No Thank You!”
Oh yes, this was a most amazing book.
Also - I adore that we get to see fat characters thrive and find love without needing to become thin. The main character does have a lot of negative self-talk about his size, but the overall narrative undermines rather than supports his internalized fatphobia.
I didn't know what to expect from this book - the title made me think it might be a bit twee or melodramatic, but it's not either. It's sweet and funny, and manages to have a solid heartwarming story and a clear message without taking itself too seriously. Highly recommended.
I received an ARC in return for an honest review of the book.
Linus Baker is a caseworker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He visits orphanages and homes run by the
A lovely story about family. Highly recommended.
Unrelated to my review, but I am so confused as to why this is marketed as adult fiction? From the off, it very clearly isn't. At best, it's young adult. However, to me it reads more like middle grade. Probably could avoid some of the unnecessary and ridiculous *cough* I mean, uninformed reviews with low ratings on here if the book is read by the readers it is intended for AND/OR those who read it recognize that this is a book for children, about children.
The characters are the stars of this show and I truly fell in love over and over again... deeper in love with each passing page. Each character will forever own a piece of my heart but Lucy... Lucy has the lion's... errr Devil's share. I love him to tiny little perfectly jagged little pieces of pure Love.
I'll end things here but just so you know:
- characters--> AMAZING
- world building--> lush and evocative and tangible
- writing--> raw and alluring and it completely ensnared me heart and soul.
- pacing--> a tad slow to start but when things got rolling and I started understanding what was going on more, it swept me away.
I am off to (reverentially) place this where it belongs... in my Favorites folder.
Story (5/5): I had very high expectations coming into this book and they were definitely met. I read this whole book in two sittings and loved it. It is just a sweet and feel good story with a lot of quirky characters
Characters (5/5): The characters are what make this book. Linus is such a good representation for what a lot of humanity is; accepting, hardworking, and trying to make it day to day. His transformation throughout the story is incredibly inspiring. Then of course there are Arthur and the children; they all have a lot of depth and end up being very different from how they are initially represented.
Setting (5/5): This book alternates between two settings; Linus’s home and the house on the island by the sea. Both are night and day to each other and make for a beautiful contrast. The description of both settings make them really come alive and I love how they contrast and play off each other. The broader alternate world where magic exists is also well done.
Writing Style (5/5): This is incredibly well written and has a very tongue in cheek tone to it at times (especially in the beginning) that makes it a lot of fun to read. I loved the way the story was put together and was completely engaged in it from page one. There is a lot of humor in here, a lot of character growth, an excellent plot and a fun alternate world. This story has huge impact, and I will think about it a lot. It was definitely a tear-jerker in a number of places, as well as making me laugh out loud in other places. It was a very fun one to read during the holiday season because of the themes are friendship and family (of course with some anti-christ, tentacles, and violent shoveling involved).
My Summary (5/5): Overall I loved this and it immediately made me go and check out what other books Klune has written. It ends up, I have another book from Klune on my shelf to read “The Lightning-Struck Heart” and I didn’t even realize it. I am doubly excited to read that book now. I would recommend this to those who enjoy quirky, fun, yet heartfelt, stories about those with unique powers who are just trying to make a living for themselves.