Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea (T.J. Klune)

The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: T.J. Klune
Narrator: Daniel Henning
Publication Date: March 1, 2020
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, LGBTQ+

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

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.


Let me confirm all the hype The House in the Cerulean Sea is getting for you. This book is worth every ounce of praise it’s been given. It was absolutely fabulous — and that’s coming from someone who isn’t a big fantasy or magical creatures fan.

There was so much depth to The House in the Cerulean SeaThe writing was gorgeous. It immediately captured my attention and kept it the entire time. The characters, and there were many, had individual voices that somehow all managed to stand out. I especially loved the children of the house’s voices. They each had their own struggles and what they brought to the story was so valuable. (If I had to pick a favorite character, it would have to be Lucy. He cracked me up every time he spoke with his inappropriate comments.) All of the characters fit into the story so well. The story was so entertaining! The author somehow managed to seamlessly wave magical creatures elements with valuable social and moral points. Add in a touch of romance, and it was the perfect read. It was simply heartwarming.

Not only was the book itself perfect, but so was the narration. It was fabulous. If you’re looking for an audiobook to listen to, I highly recommend this one. Daniel Henning brought each and every character to life. I would have enjoyed reading this book, but listening to it made it all the better.

So, yes. The hype is real for The House in the Cerulean Sea.

33 thoughts on “Review: The House in the Cerulean Sea (T.J. Klune)”

  1. This is really far from my norm, but everyone is raving about it. Now that you have mentioned the audio is good, I will have to put it on my audio wishlist.

    1. Yes, do! It was just a really good story and the characters were fabulous. I loved every minute of listening to it!

  2. This has been on my TBR for a while, and seeing that you loved it (especially when it’s not your usual cup of tea) makes me want to read it even more!

    1. I think you would most likely enjoy it. If you have any questions about it before trying it, let me know.

    1. Yes, the hype is unreal. This isn’t my normal read, though. I’m not interested in fantasy or magical creatures. This was actually funny, though. The characters were odd and so lovable. Add in that the narration was fabulous and it was a win for me.

  3. I’ve been seeing so many people rave about this one and count it as a new favorite. The magic/fantasty element is so far outside my wheelhouse but I might still give it a try. Maybe the audio version is the way to go. Glad this was such a hit for you!

  4. This was my favorite read of 2020 so I’m so happy to hear you loved it as well! It’s definitely worth the hype, and I agree that the audiobook was excellent!

    1. It would have made my list for 2020 if I had read it then. Looks like it’s going on the list for 2021.

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