Thursday, September 24, 2020

Book Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

Are you looking for an excellent quiet, lovely, thoughtful escapist read right now? Well, most people are, and I've found it for you!

Linus Baker is a case worker for DICOMY, the Department in Charge of Magical Youths. He travels to various orphanages and evaluates their ability to thoughtfully care for the orphaned magical children in their charge. That is, when he isn't at his unadorned desk in a windowless room, filling out paperwork. Because of his dedication to his job and his diligence in his forms, he is chosen by Extremely Upper Management to travel out to a house on an island what houses the most... interesting magical children.

Linus has always dreamed of seeing the ocean. His mouse pad is the only thing on his desk that is truly his, and it's a beautiful picture of the sea, and it says, "Don't you wish you were here?" He's going to the ocean for the first time in his life. And also for the first time Linus, who is used to dealing with small witches and vampires and other creatures, will be meeting more unique children than he ever has before: a female gnome, a wood sprite, a were-Pomeranian, a wyvern, an unidentifiable blob, and the anti-Christ (but don't call him that please! He's Lucy, short for Lucifer.) And Mr. Parnassus, the headmaster. Who makes Linus feel very warm.

He's there to do his job--to evaluate the home and see if it's appropriate and safe. But part of his job is to remain objective. What if he just can't do that anymore?

This book was everything I needed right now. Fun and silly and yet also a metaphor for racism as the nearby town reacts to the magical youths, it was easy to become fully immersed in this world, and it was also reassuring and kind and made me wish I could live in a rambly old house on an island by the sea... with a wyvern. I would be sure to give my wyvern all the coins and buttons he wants for his hoard. I never knew why I always save those extra buttons that come with a new shirt or coat, and now I know.

This book is published by Tor, a division of Macmillan. my employer.

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