Book Review: The House In The Cerulean Sea By TJ Klune


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.


At the start of this novel I got Lemony Snicket vibes. I think this was a TikTok book? It came up under a recommendation list and for once they actually had a book I enjoyed so much.

As I listened to this audio book (RECOMMEND SO MUCH, the voices of all the characters are just perfectly done. I’ve laughed out loud, my eyes have watered, I went aww so many times throughout this.

The characters are all so unique so this definitely needs to be a movie it really does have all the features to be one.

The little children have been through so much and to have Author and Zoe looking after them now was just heartwarming.

I wasn’t sure about this novel initially as it was classified as a ‘contemporary fantasy’.

This novel is written in a way where it would suit a younger reader as in teenagers I think however it also read in a way where you would be able to enjoy it at any age.

All of the children were so unique and funny. They had so much personality and mature views of life for their age. This book had some life philosophy lessons throughout as well, in particular one of the many quotes I enjoyed:

“Why can’t life work whatever way we want it to? What’s the point of living if you only do it as others want you to”

I was not bored or annoyed with any aspect of the writing style and such hence my rating. The only annoying things would have been of course the people that where against these little children. They are children, it does not matter what they are they are the innocent. It’s the adults that shape them and are a result of the adults parenting styles. For example, at times they were not allowed in shops and I was thinking seriously? That is like saying you are refusing to serve a black, gay, disabled, the list goes on. It was discrimination and against children. Just because they had extreme powers to do harm does not mean they are going to use them. It is like they are brainwashed (the idiots that is) to going with the flock without actually seeing the logic or common sense in it. You would literally have to be an idiot to not serve particular people.

The writing style of these unique and young children where so well-written, so Thank You TJ for creating a novel for all ages to enjoy. Plus, it mentions different sexual orientations which of course is appreciated especially when it hasn’t been too focused on in a novel (things like this that are over focused I find annoying). Every topic within this novel was written well and had enough focus within it.

Everyone that I’ve seen read this has been right where the novel leaves you wanting to find out more to continue living in this unique island. In particular all of the children are very cute and interesting. Lucy and Chauncey where just adorable in their personalities and views. Oh, the things they have said would definitely make you laugh out loud.

I really hope this gets turned into a movie and gets even more recognition than it currently already has. The author T.J Kline definitely makes this novel shine and I love the imagination and effort he has put into this.

5/5 Stars

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