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Review: House in the Cerulean Sea

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

3/5 stars

This book combines the magic (and, more specifically, Ministry of Magic) of Harry Potter, the odd quirkiness of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and the saccharine sweetness of Winnie the Pooh. Sounds weird, right? It is, and also very silly and whimsical, and sweet. It was just the palate cleanser I needed.

Linus Baker is a case worker for the Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY), investigating orphanages for magical children to make sure they, and their Masters, are up to code. One day he is summoned to a meeting with Extremely Upper Management, and given a new assignment. He's sent to a remote island with a small orphanage filled with the most unusual (and dangerous?) magical children there are, plus the Master of the house, Arthur, whose past is shrouded in secrecy.

Linus is the squarest of square when he arrives on the island, but coming upon this rag tag group brings out a new side to him. The children are by far the most fun and compelling characters - from the son of Satan himself, to a gelatinous blob with spindly eyes and a deep, burning desire to be a bellhop. There's some rather forced feeling romance which I'm not sure I bought. I would have preferred the book without it. There are definitely some heavy handed metaphors sprinkled around, but just don't think about it all too hard - just enjoy the ride! If you are up for a cute story that is also quite eccentric, it's a fast and fun read that I'd definitely recommend.


UP NEXT: Out of Darkness, Shining Light, by Petina Gappah

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