Review // The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

March 23, 2024

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

A home isn't always the house we live in. It's also the people we choose to surround ourselves with. You may not live on the island, but you can't tell me it's not your home. Your bubble, Mr. Baker. It's been popped. Why would you allow it to grow around you again?

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The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Cerulean Chronicles #1
Rating -
Release - March 17, 2020
Genre - Fantasy / found family
POV - Single 3rd person
Heat - none aside from a kiss
Source - ebook from the library
Length - 393 pages

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.

I know, I know. I'm late to this author and the stunning way they put together words. Who knew I was truly missing out?

Linus Baker was the epitome of a perfect social worker—he genuinely cared about children and their safety; he prided himself on remaining objective; and he took meticulous notes and prepared detailed reports. When he's given the task of investigating an orphanage that has been given the highest classification, he knows, before he even steps foot on the island, that he's in over his head.

These characters quickly won my heart and I was so sad to let them go when I got to the end.

  1. Talia is a female gnome, with a love of gardening, gardening tools, and digging holes (for reasons);
  2. Theodore is a wyvern, who communicates with chirps, collects treasure, and is generally fun-loving;
  3. Phee is a sprite who is coming into her own powers with the help of Zoe (an adult sprite). There's a fierceness to this little girl that is hard to ignore;
  4. Chauncey is a little boy of a species no one recognizes. He wants everyone to get along and his greatest wish is to be the best bellhop in all the lands;
  5. Sal is a gentle soul who, after many years of abuse, is easily frightened. He's slowly healing and I lived for every moment of his recovery; and
  6. Lucy is the antichrist, however, if you look beyond the moniker he had no choice but to have, you'll find a mischievious little boy who enjoys all things death and grossness. There's a sweetness to him that defies every preconceived notion of who we think he should be.

As the story progressed, I found myself developing a certain degree of fondness with everyone and my capacity for caring only grew as the story did. I loved watching Linus flounder with everything he knew and all of the things he was learning. He discovered a zest for life on this island, with these people. A level of self-awareness, a sense of questioning the world around him and the way we treat others. A newfound hope and appreciation for the differences between us all.

This story took a firm jab at discrimination and I can't wait to read the sequel, Somewhere Beyond the Sea.

Check out the incredible fan art for The House in the Cerulean Sea. The creator captured these characters BEAUTIFULLY!!

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

TJ KLUNE is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling, Lambda Literary Award-winning author of The House in the Cerulean Sea, Under the Whispering Door, In the Lives of Puppets, and the Green Creek Series for adults, the Extraordinaries Series for teens, and more. Being queer himself, Klune believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive queer representation in stories.

Visit for more information.


  1. What a great review for this book! I totally know what you mean by the fondness that developed. That happened to me as well when reading this book.

  2. I haven't heard about this author before. But this book definitely sounds like a lot of fun.
    Great review!

    1. Thanks hon! xo
      It really is a great book. It's light, but touches on serious issues.

  3. I have been hearing about this book forever.. I really need to get my hands on it soon.


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