Recommended by MARY SAWYER, Branch Manager, Ephraim Library
“Don’t you wish you were here?” reads the caption of a seascape mouse pad sitting on Linus Baker’s office desk.
Never have I read a book that made me wish to be there quite like Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, set in an unnamed fantasy world not too unlike our own, but where some children fall under the bureaucratic “care” of the Department in Charge of Magical Youth.
Linus, our protagonist, works as a case manager, overseeing sprites, shapeshifters, gnomes and even an antichrist. Despite the unusual nature of his work, Linus lives the life of a drudge, with strict regimentation at work and constant rain outside of it – until he’s sent to a remote island to investigate an orphanage filled with delightful, but potentially dangerous children.
This book came to my attention during the spring of 2020, and it was one of the first things to genuinely make me smile and feel like the world might eventually be all right. Klune has mastered quirky language, unexpected love stories, endearing characters and sappy, hopeful storytelling. When an amorphous, green blob turns into a character whose dream of becoming a bellhop takes on the emotional impact of Harry conquering Voldemort or the Baudelaire children escaping Count Olaf, you know you’ve found a quality writer.
If you enjoy visiting the worlds of Terry Pratchett, Lemony Snicket or Roald Dahl, I think you’ll feel right at home here in the Cerulean Sea.
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