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

The House in the Cerulean Sea | Book Review

“Home is where you feel like yourself”

The Story

The House on the Cerulean Sea follows a forty year old man named Linus. 

Linus works as a caseworker for the Department of Magical Youth. He is by the book and rarely seen without his personal copy of RULES AND REGULATIONS. His days are monotonous. Go to work, do as he’s told, come home, forget his umbrella, feed the cat, go to bed and do the exact same thing the next day.

Only one day he is summoned by Extreme Upper Management and handed an assignment. Classified. Visit and investigate an orphanage of six children for one month to ensure everything there is on the “up and up.” Six children who could bring about the end of days, overseen my one Mr Arthur Parnassus. 

“I’m afraid I don’t have magic.”

“You do, Mr. Baker. Arthur told me that there can be magic in the ordinary.”

My Thoughts

This book.

I believe I have fallen in love. With the writing style, the storytelling, the characters, the world building. 

It’s written in the style, and almost with the nostalgia, of a children’s story. It’s fun, magical and whimsical but from the outset, this is not a children’s story. But it’s beautiful. 

It isn’t often I can say this, because I find it difficult to visualise images in my head, but I could truly, for moments, see parts playing out like a movie. I want to see this movie. I would love to see everything on the pages transferred to screen, to the minutest detail. From Talia (the Gnomes) flower garden to Mr Parnassus’s cloud-print socks. 

This story warmed my heart. 

I should probably state that the message of the story isn’t that nuanced. It is there for all to see – plain and simple. And why not? People are often offended when stories don’t hide meaning behind layers upon layers of plot devices and subtext, but honestly a story like this – it works just the way it is. 

I adored the characters we meet, and who they become as we journey with them. I’ve said the story has the whimsy and writing style of a children’s book, but please don’t think I mean that the story, the plot, the character arcs or the world building is overly simplistic, or even simplistic at all. 

And if it is for some then I believe it is stunning in its simplicity. It says what’s needed to be said, and all the while it arouses your intrigue and imagination. You think “The author’s built this up too much, nothing can surprise me now” only you would be very wrong indeed. 

“And the spiders?”

“Still there.”

“But?”

“But I can have spiders in my head as long as I don’t let them consume me.”

Conclusion

I’ve said how beautiful this story is and I have to reiterate this. It’s wholesome and heartwarming. It’s a story of love, and indeed also a love story. 

If you enjoy fantastical books full of whimsy and charm, a story that leaves you holding the book close to your heart when you’ve read the final word because you don’t want it to be over – and what on earth are you supposed to do now that you’ve fallen in love with this world and these characters? If you love books like that, then yes, this is a book that you should definitely try for yourself.

As a side note: I read this book while playing Bookstore Ambience on YouTube and it added so much to my reading experience.  

“We should always make time for the things we like. If we don’t, we might forget how to be happy.”

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