cover image The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea

TJ Klune. Tor, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-21728-8

Quirk and charm give way to a serious exploration of the dangers of complacency in this delightful, thought-provoking Orwellian fantasy from Klune (Heartsong). Caseworker Linus Baker of the Department in Charge of Magical Youths (DICOMY) believes he is doing right by the preternaturally gifted children placed in DICOMY-sanctioned orphanages. But Linus begins to question DICOMY’s methods when the ominous Extremely Upper Management tasks Linus with evaluating the isolated Marsyas Island Orphanage and reporting not only on the island’s extraordinary children—among them a female gnome, a blob of uncertain species who wants to be a bellhop, and a shy teenage boy who turns into a small dog when startled—but also on the orphanage master, Arthur Parnassus. The bonds Linus forms with the children and the romantic connection he feels for Arthur set Linus on a path toward redemption for the unwitting harm he caused as a cog in an uncaring bureaucratic machine. By turns zany and heartfelt, this tale of found family is hopeful to its core. Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity. Agent: Diedre Knight, The Knight Agency (March)