The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune is one of my favorite books of the year so far. Complete with a wyvern, phoenix, sprites, gnomes, and other magical creatures, this novel is a delight.
Linus Baker is a lonely, 40-year-old man who lives with his grumpy cat and alongside an even grumpier neighbor. A long-time employee of the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he has a reputation for impartial, detailed reports. He’s been a caseworker for decades and has never wanted or asked for more.
Pushed beyond his comfort zone when he’s assigned to visit a mysterious, classified island full of magical children, Linus must adapt to the situation or risk failure.
His task? Evaluate the “orphanage,” the children, and the headmaster, Arthur. On the surface, this assignment from Extremely Upper Management is business as usual.
Other than the classified nature of the Island (and the children), this should be just like any other case. However, Linus finds it hard to maintain his detachment after getting to know Arthur and the children. He comes to learn that perhaps detachment is not something desirable when deciding the fates of children.
This is a story about acceptance, overcoming discrimination and prejudice, and the power of a single voice to make a difference.
Linus discovers that home is not just a place, it’s people, and he’s finally found his.
I really cannot say enough good things about this book. The world could do with more compassion, empathy, and acceptance of others who are different.