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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.6 out of 5
5 Stars
357 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
109 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
29 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
7 reviews have 2 stars
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All Book Reviews

  • A preachy read that doesn’t know what it’s doing

    If an author is going to write a story that’s effectively an allegory of government treatment of indigenous people, that author needs to think the worldbuilding through. Otherwise, they risk doing what Klune has here, which is to create a story in which the lead character’s “good heart” apparently makes up for the fact that he’s remained deliberately ignorant of maltreatment and neglect of marginalised children who’ve been ripped from their families for 17 years, only to suddenly come to the realisation that “magical kids are people too” after (checks notes) falling for the person who runs one of the orphanages. He appears to feel no particular remorse and no sense of his complicity in policy which has separated children from their families for years, as well as (probably; we’re not really told) contributed to whatever has made their parents or communities of origin unable to care for them. Nor is the overall system condemned by the end of the story; we’re informed there’s been a change in management and the lead character himself has escaped, so it’s all good. As a feel-good story it’s a great defence of white saviourism and intent over impact. Plus the tone is twee, arch, preachy, and superficial. An unpleasant experience on every level.

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    44 person found this review helpful

    44 people found this review helpful

    44 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Wonderous

    Let me start by saying how versatile a writer Mr. Klune is. I have read most of his previous works and this book is so different but in a wonderful way. The imagery the author creates makes the lucky reader enter a make believe world that not only do you feel could actually exist but one you wish desperately does. Mr Linus Baker is a caseworker for the Department In Charge of Magical Youth or DICMY. He is a timid and non descript 40 year old man that just blends in with the wallpaper. He tries to stay out of the limelight and avoids any confrontations. His job is to inspect the orphanages and check on the magical children's welfare. Summoned to see the Extremely Upper Management astounds him. Why would they ever meet with the likes of him? During a very awkward meeting on Linus' part he is ordered to go on a classified level 4 assignment. This sounds too top secret for the poor man. A group of problematic children are currently residing in a somewhat untraditional orphanage and Linus is tasked to make sure the Master of this home, Arthur Parnassus is qualified to handle the special nature of these orphans. Linus will have to spend a month on an isolated Island where they live. Oh the Island, what an amazing blend of magical qualities exist there! The headmaster Arthur is a sweet and very protective role model for the extremely unique children left in his care. Arthur does things in his own way which has vexed the DICMY, hence the reason for Linus to snoop. The eclectic group of youngsters utterly captivated me. As the story progessed I sensed a feeling of urgency and I wanted the children to be protected but also allowed to experience freedom wihout the gross mislaid monitoring of humans. I will not go into any details of the children. This is for to enjoy. I was mesmerized as I learned about all of their mystical and yet endearing personalities this band of precocious orphans embodied. They are flawed and perfect at the same time and the world needs to stop pushing them aside. The slow romantic burn between Linus and Arthur had me feeling they were made for each other. Neither man is a super model and they know their own weaknesses. You will rejoice when Linus discovers how much strength he carries beneath his ordinary existence. I strongly recommend this beautiful adventure because to call it a mere reading experience would be a disservice. Thank you Mr. Klune for this magical journey. Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC for my reading pleasure. A review was not a requirement

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    17 person found this review helpful

    17 people found this review helpful

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • The best Feelgood story I have ever read

    This is the best feelgood story I have ever read. It brought colour to my day and made me forget all the sad stuff that is going on these days. I felt love, happiness, friendship, wonder, hope, acceptance, courage, tenderness, joy and a lot of other good stuff. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a lighthearted and sunny story of love and friendship and so much more. It reads very easily and when I was finished I wanted to read it again immediately. So much fun and joy I couldn't get enough of it. It's not that there aren't any serious themes in this book, because there are. Prejudice, the dehuminisation of people who are different, rules and regulations designed to oppress instead of protect, abuse and so on, they all play a part in this book. But nowhere in this book it is winning, nowhere in the story there is lack of hope. And I did not know how much I needed a story like that.

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    5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • "Near perfect" is right

    One of the blurbs on the cover says this book is close to perfect, and it's right. This book is as charming and hopeful as Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, and there's the added bonus of a terrific fantasy world. I especially loved the repetition of the line "Don't you wish you were here?" So much longing! I also thought it fitting he made so much use of the subjunctive. This book made me laugh out loud. I was glued to it. Great pandemic read. The only thing I wanted to know more about was the schools for magical children. It felt like there was going to be more about that but it never happened. I can't wait to read more by this author!

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Decent entertaining and heartwarming

    This book was a good read, it was compelling enough to keep going, the relationships and people were honest and deep. I felt it took quick leaps that could have been developed more, but I really enjoyed this book.

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    1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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