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

Let me tell you one big confession.

I am not that all interested in the book the first I saw it, but the more I come across this book, the more I was enthralled with how blue the cerulean sea is and it eventually led me to the whole cover. Like Wow. This book perhaps has one of those unique settings I’ve never read before.

And this book just proves me right.

Genre : Fiction, LGBT, Romance
Page : 394 pages
Published : 17th March 2020

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.

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

First sentence to start my review, is I fall in love immediately with the book and yes, with Linus Baker. Even if he possessed some excess fat on his belly which he constantly worried about.

The House In Cerulean Sea— When Linus Baker was sent to accomplished a mission no one could ever think of before, where he found the most impossible sight he had ever seen in his whole life.

You know, I think I might’ve found my new favourites of all time.

This is a story of Linus Baker, a case worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth. Just reading and feeling the name of “magical” has sent me tingling already. What I love about this book is, it managed to crafted a magical story without having to moved backwards to the past or forward to the future to make this magic era fits.

This story happened in a typical normal world where cars. trains, offices, daily bills, newspapers all exist. Just like the world we are living in right now. Except for the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth (DICOMY) who observed magical orphanages and its’ magical children inhabitants.

And here comes a day where Linus Baker caught the attention of  Extremely Upper Management to be trusted to accomplished the mission on Marsyas Island Orphanage. I love how Linus set to be the main character for the book. Because I rarely read a honest and awkward forty-year-old man to be the orbit of the story in a magical realm.

It’s so easy to love Linus. Readers will absolutely love him for his straightforwardness and quirky traits. And I absolutely love how this book is cheerfully comedic at times because of Linus himself. Seriously he is just a lovable forty years old man.

And you will not believe what you’ll find on Marsyas Island Orphanage.

Marsyas Island Orphanage

Here are the stars that complete this story as a whole who resides in Marsyas Island Orphanage.

1. Miss Chapelwhite

Kind of like the caretaker of the island. She is a tough character but it was easy to see she is soft on the inside

2. Arthur Parnassus

The head of the orphanage. Definitely someone to look up to and a fairly wise man.


The Children

1. Lucy

Born antichrist. A six years old who is exceptionally intelligent. Playful and Witty. Love to toss his world domination threat to people, especially to Linus Baker.

2. Talia

So apparently, she is a 200 years old gnome (and she is a child)

3. Theodore

A wyvern who scared Linus to death at their first meeting. You’ll definitely love him.

4.  Sal

A were-Pomeranian with his shy personality but has the most mature thoughts amongst the six children.

5. Chauncey

Well no one knows what he is, except an unidentifiable green blob to begin with. But his big heart sure is his special trait.

6. Phee

One skillful forest sprite. Absolutely not one to mess with.


What I love about this orphanage is they bring the creative side of us to imagine. How does the island and the children looks like. The beautiful and unique settings as well as the children special apperance and traits they carried.

Aside from encourage us to imagine, this book, especially this orphanage, encourage us to feel. Not pity but love. Seriously there’s so much to discuss about this book and there’s just so much to learn in this heartwarming standalone.

Life Lessons

1. Do Not Judge By Appearance

Because appearance can’t judge a character and by appearance alone, you can never know one possessed the heart of gold or the heart of evil.

2. How Prejudice Cloud Our Thoughts

You know the kind of thoughts that come across sometimes when we met someone new? It’s not wrong to have those thoughts slide through our brain but never ever let it stick and engraved it to the brain and heart. Because the only way to know a person, is to engaged them in your everyday lives. Not just by mere assumptions made from first impression or by the whispers of others.

3. Spread Love

How Love is a powerful weapon to begin with. Spread the love immensely and sincerely and watched how this could changed the lives of many.

4. Pop The Bubble And Believe In Yourself

We all have that circle that contains us inside, never ending loop of cycle that seems endless. Either it’s safe or vexing to be in the endless cycle. And it’s our life to begin with. We could break the cycle if we choose to. Either now or later on after things got sorted out. But we could always popped the bubbles that constrict us whenever we are ready, with a little faith and hardwork.

More Detailed Reviews

There’s hardly anything to dislike about this book. Like, seriously. Loving this book has been easy from the start. With Linus personality and the way he carried himself and the unique premises of magic this book holds.

And what I did not expect at all is the habitants living in Marsyas Island Orphanage. Miss Chapelwhite, Mr. Parnassus and the children. Oh my god. The children. I love how despite their fierce look and their unique circumstances, this book still managed to show us that they’re just children in need of adult guidance to light their life.

In the beginning I said this is a story of Linus. While in fact, this book is a story of all of them. Linus, Miss Chapelwhite, Mr. Parnassus and the whole six children. The story of love, trust and family.

Personally, I think the characters is what brings this story to life. Each of them have their own unique personality, strength and weakness all the same. But I love how this book managed to bring out all their personality and managed to made them all shine just the same without leaving anyone out.

And each characters have their own story and background that shaped them all to be the person they’re right now and I love how this book managed to beautifully crafted it all, blend it to the story in the most succinct way and yet made a huge impact for me. Personally, I feel like each character here is a lesson itself. 

Also, I love how innocent this book feels to me. This book somehow feels like a children book made for adults. The whole context is just humorous at times, lovely and innocent.


My two most favourite moment in the book is:

1. Linnus inner thoughts, which is funny because it is so damn relatable

2. Linus interaction with the children, which is lovely and at times, comical.


Aside from Linus, Miss Chapelwhite and Mr. Parnassus sure is a lovely adults.


And when I think this book couldn’t make me love more, I find the love I have for this book grow immensely as I read. I can’t help but to love the characters more and more as I read.  And I love how this book feels like a quote book to me.

“Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard. You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.”

“The world likes to see things in black and white, in moral and immoral. But there is gray in between. And just because a person is capable of wickedness, doesen’t mean they will act upon it.”

What I mean is, this book has loads of life lessons inside and reading this book warmth my heart. And did I forget to tell you how I was bawling towards the end? and by the end, I was literally sobbing. Head burried on my pollows, tears streaming down without being able to stop.

Seriously, this book is beautiful and so full of love, hope and dreams.

Author: Celine

4 thoughts on “Book Review : The House In The Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune

  1. Great review, Celine! I keep seeing this book come up on Goodreads and I’m intrigued even by the cover, so I was so pleased to find you’d reviewed it… and loved it. I need no further convincing: on my ever-growing TBR pile 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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