Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune


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.



Luis investigates children homes for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, making sure the homes are keeping the children safe from the world … and the world safe from the children. He is more interested in the former, under his by-the-book exterior, though his bosses are more interested in the later. They had a special case needing observation and picked him out of their gray, cubicle-controlled world. Their mistake was focusing on his exterior rule-following instead of understanding where his heart lay.

The book brings the amorphous time of Harry Potter – the mix of not-really modern and magic. Lots of no-longer existing technology used in the book and available both to the normals and the magical-youth. The focus of the book is acceptance of those different from you, whether by race, sexuality, age, or religion. Everyone should have a chance to grow up and become themselves.

It’s fun, with lots of odd-ball characters, skirting the edge of being heavy handed to those who pay attention to the subcontext of books. But it is easy to just play along with the story. A good read.

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