Book Review – House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

This is a book I have heard so many good things about in the last year and have been meaning to read for a while. I read the author’s recent novel Under the whispering door and loved it, so I was very excited to read this one. Then for my birthday my amazing co-host @azdesert_bookworm bought me this book. I have been waiting for the perfect moment to read this, and having had a month and a half of horror and thriller books, I was in desperate need of a heartwarming read.


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 is so much to this book that I could literally write a thesis on it. The number of lessons to take away is awe-inspiring. This is a novel about love, hope, resilience, life, family and the joys of stepping out of your bubble.

We are first introduced to Linus. A man who has worked as a case worker for DICOMY for the last 17 years and fully believes in living by the rules. But then Upper Management call him for a meeting. He has been allocated to a very special, classified case and it is his job to report whether this home should remain open or not. But he doesn’t realise how important this case will be and how it will change his life.

Arriving on the island he meets all the children, including Lucy (aka Lucifer) the devil’s son, along with a wyvern, a gnome, an unknown race, a sprite and a boy who turns into a small dog when scared. Then of course there is the master of the house, Arthur Parnassus, a larger than life personality who genuinely cares and loves all his charges. During the month he spends watching the children, life changes, Linus changes. He realises that perhaps there is life beyond his usual routine and that not everything is black and white. More importantly, maybe rules are meant to be broken.

This book was a beautiful, heartfelt read full of some wonderfully crafted characters in a stunning setting. The metaphors in this book are very hard to miss. In the novel, magical people are seen as monsters and are repelled by most society, which can easily be compared to different races, sexualities and genders in today’s society. This book is not just about acceptance it is about going beyond this and embracing everyone no matter who they are. It is also about the importance of family, and how families come in all different shapes and sizes and aren’t all blood related.

If you need a heartwarming, uplifting read I highly recommend this novel. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry but more more anything you will fall in love with each and every character. This is definitely a book I will reread time and time again. It is like a big warm hug or a hot cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter night. This is definitely a story that will stick with me for a long time.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – the perfect novel when you need to be reminded of the joy, love and light in the world.

Much love 💘

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