The House in the Cerulean Sea: A Review


Bee Sackett, Reporter

The views expressed in this article belong to the reporter, and do not reflect the views held by Rockbridge County High School, the Prowler Staff, and its members.

T.J. Klune’s New York Times bestseller, “The House in the Cerulean Sea,” is a fanciful tale that draws startling parallels to real world discrimination. Chronicling the one job in the life of a Department in Charge of Magical Youth (DICOMY) caseworker, this novel tells a story of the changing societal tide of a fictionalized world. 

In this world, humans and magical beings live together, but not at all in harmony. The governments of this world try to control magical creatures, take their children, and force them into DICOMY run “orphanages.” Linus Baker, the caseworker in question, is tasked with the month-long inspection of a DICOMY orphanage housing the most “dangerous” of magical youths, including Sal, a boy who can turn people into dogs, and Lucy, the antichrist. 

Throughout the novel, Linus’ views on his job and his government as a whole change drastically. From believing in his superiors’ ideals unflinchingly, to being an activist standing up against them. Along the way, Linus falls in love with the charming, charismatic Arthur Parnassus, who runs the orphanage Linus has been tasked to inspect. Arthur helps Linus to see the inherent abuse and corruption in DICOMY’s orphanage system. Together, they then work to save as many children from these orphanages as they can.

This story is beautiful, simple as that. Every scene carries you into a magical land, filled with wonder, fright, and characters worth loving. This is the kind of book in which you can lose yourself, not only yourself, but hours too. It’s been a long time since I read a book that took so much of my attention, I could not put it down. 

I was genuinely invested in every story, backstory, side story, everything. Every character was detailed, fleshed out, and written to perfection. Rarely did this book fail to keep my attention, as a matter of fact it never failed. It is by no means the greatest book of all time, and the only criticism I have to offer is my disdain for the lack of a sequel. 

I would absolutely recommend reading T.J. Klune’s “The House in the Cerulean Sea,” although I would read it over the Summer or a break, because you will lose hours in the fantastical but realistic realm of this novel.