When I first read the synopsis of what The House in the Cerulean Sea was about, I immediately passed. A gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist living in an orphanage, no thank-you. I don’t really like fantasy anyway so why bother. Well, I continued to see reviews of this book as a great story about acceptance, found family, finding your home, and more, so I decided to give it a try. If I didn’t like it, I could just not finish it. I am here to tell you, that this book will probably go down as one of my favourites this year.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune, Daniel Henning (Narrator)
Published March 16th 2020 by Tor Books, Macmillan Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Linus Baker is a 40 year old stickler for rules and regulations at work and in his life. He works as a caseworker for DICOMY (Department in Charge of Magical Youth). One day he is summoned by Extremely Upper Management for a highly classified assignment. He is to travel to an island where six dangerous and magical children are living in an orphanage. He will be gone for one month where he will report on what he finds and whether or not the home should be closed. He is also to report on the supervisor of the home, Arthur Parnassus. He is not to tell anyone where he is going on assignment, everything is very hush, hush. What Linus finds when he arrives at Marsyas Island Orphanage is rather shocking and surprising to him. As he gets to know the residents and caregivers, he realizes how wrong first impressions can be.
From the synopsis we read: “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. I can’t agree more with this statement.“
This book made me so happy. It’s funny, heart-warming, beautifully written, and a bit mysterious. The characters are amazing. I loved reading about the children; their skills, their feelings, their vulnerabilities. The setting of a beautiful island where children with special characteristics, powers, and personalities thrive because they’re loved was great. Unfortunately, the rest of the world and the nearby town was judgmental and hated those they did not know or understand. Not only is this story about acceptance, family, trust and love, but also about standing up for what is right and fighting against hate and discrimination. It’s about discovering unlikely families and feeling like you belong. The voice of one man and one woman who saw the goodness in the souls of those that are different from them, and changed the world for all of them. I definitely recommend this story.
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Daniel Henning. This is the first time I have had the pleasure of one of Mr. Henning’s performances. He did a wonderful job with all the voices of the various children and adults, both male and female. Their personalities shone through, from mischievous to depressed, from quirky excitement to love. I am definitely glad that I listened to the audiobook of this one.
About 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.