The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Book - 2020
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"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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Tor, [2020]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781250217288
Characteristics: 398 pages ; 22 cm


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Sep 18, 2020

This is a purely wonderful story with the most lovable group of characters.

Sep 16, 2020

I think my expectation were set too high when I picked this up. All I've seen are glowing reviews. I did enjoy Linus' transformation and seeing his relationship with the children and Arthur evolve. And this was a cute story but I found it overall too predictable and boring. For the right reader this will be a wonderful read but it just wasn't for me.

Sep 04, 2020

Charming story, and uplifting. Just what I needed in a dark time. My only quibble is the ending -- it goes on just a little bit longer than it should have. But this is only a quibble. A lovely, timely, and compelling book.

Aug 21, 2020

Such a great story and adorable romance.

PimaLib_TaylorJ Aug 06, 2020

This story is magical, soft, and full of love. Though labeled as adult fiction, this would be a wonderful middle-grade read as well. Easily one of my favorite stories I read in 2020.

CaitlinG_OshLib Aug 05, 2020

A beautiful, heart warming story filled with found family, love and the gentleness of finding yourself.

Jul 28, 2020

A beautiful story about found family

RandomLibrarian Jul 18, 2020

Review excerpt: "'The House in the Cerulean Sea' charmed me to pieces even though I’m not quite sure who the book is for. It’s written almost like a fable for children, with simple language and many heavy-handed explanations of its morals. However, the main character is an adult and themes include grinding bureaucracy and the numbness of everyday life. The book is not a romance novel specifically but it does involve a lovely m/m romance. I recommend it for adults who are young at heart and for kids and teens with old souls."


Jul 09, 2020

I give this novel four and a half stars! 

Beautiful, just friggin' beautiful. That's what this book was to me. 

I kept seeing my blogger friends reviewing this new 2020 book, so I had to check it out and give it a try. I mean, LGBT characters set in a world with magic? It was a no-brainer. 

This book centers on Linus Baker, a social worker of sorts for 'orphanages' for magically-gifted youth. Based on his observations and recommendations to DICOMY, these orphanages either continue to run or are closed down. 

But when he's called up to the fifth floor by Extremely Upper Management and given a classified assignment, Linus finds himself in an interesting predicament when he reaches an island orphanage with extra gifted children.  

I loved this book! Central themes of this book are acceptance and finding your place in the world, and I think due to these times this resonated with me very strongly. 

The characters shined through first and foremost. Now, I will say that this book is a bit more character-driven than I usually care for, but this is an instance where that really worked for me. 

Linus was an interesting character. He's a bit shy and unassertive at first and very beaten down by his working conditions. I mean, these people are TERRIBLE to him, and it made me cringe here and there at how appallingly he was treated. That being said, things begin to change for Linus when he reaches the island. Throughout this novel, he has some serious character progression and begins to question the very rules and regulations his existence is governed by. Also, I have to say that we need more LGBT characters in the world, and this is a great example of how great they can be. 

Other characters helped provide all the feels. For me, a special shoutout goes to Lucy and Chauncey. Lucy had his own demons to combat (quite literally), and Chauncey's blind optimism and hope really struck deep for me. Honestly, all of the characters are pretty great, those two just stuck out for me. 

The plot was intriguing from the beginning. I liked the dull, grey world Linus lived in, and the system in place was very interesting. The journey Linus goes on is captivating, and though there isn't a ton of action all the time, I had to know how things were going to end up with this motley crew of children, each with their own scars. Despite the seriousness of the book, there were these great cozy moments that really made me feel warm all over and grateful for the goodness in people that seems to be so rare these days.

If I had to pick at anything, I would say that the pacing did suffer just a tad for me in the middle when there wasn't a ton of stuff happening, but that's more due to personal preference, so I didn't judge very harshly.

All in all, this book was a great LGBT adventure filled with love, hardship, and the power of the human spirit to persevere. Can't recommend this one enough!

Jul 02, 2020

I thought this was a wonderful tale even though I don't often read fantasy genre. The characters are engaging and delightful and the scenery is enchanting. I believe this would be a good book for children to learn acceptance for those who are "different" but it has a bit of content that could be scary (magic/fire) and adult situations (mean people) so consider it for mature children. Lucy (short for Lucifer), the son of Satan, was portrayed as a precocious child who needed love just like all children, and I appreciate that NO religious content was foisted on the reader. I love the fact that the author includes gay characters in a normal, caring relationship and that it was simply a portion of the whole story where everyone is loved for who they are, not the color of their skin, what they look like, etc. A lovely story!

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Jul 02, 2020

SJZB2020 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Jul 02, 2020

From the jacket/about the author: "Being queer himself, TJ [Klune] believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories."


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