Ahoy there me mateys! I get why this book is hyped even if it ended up not being a favorite. The main reason is the love story. I liked it and thought it was sweet but would have preferred the book without it.
The main premise is that a world like ours has magical children in it. Children with magic that they can’t always control. So the government tracks these children and places the ones without families in orphanages. The main character, Linus, is a middle-aged case worker who checks on the children and their living conditions and files reports. Lots of them. Until one day he is tasked to investigate an orphanage he didn’t know existed.
Linus himself rocked. Seriously. I loved the set up for his story, his life and job pre-island, and getting his observations. I was always cheering for him. His cat was also great. The plot wasn’t stellar but the characters were key. And the writing style itself was delightful. I did not really like the love interest and thought he was boring and that his mysterious nature and secret was lame. I also don’t like how the love story progresses so quickly. But ultimately I just wanted the children to have more page time. I adored them and just wanted to see more of their shenanigans and interactions with Linus.
The love story got in the way. A fun read nonetheless and a standalone to boot. Arrr!
Goodreads’ website has this to say about the novel (shortened by me):
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 . . .
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.
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