This was very sweet and I was extremely charmed by it. I didn’t end up giving it the fifth star, because shmoopsy mostly doesn’t work for me, and this did get a bit shmoopsy there at the end. (Shmoopsy is a technical term.) But overall, this was witty and so sweet and heartwarming, with a light undercurrent of dark humor. I loved the worldbuilding; the gentle bite of the satire combined so well with the big hearts of the main characters.
Briefly (because I think you should go into this as unspoiled as possible), this is a contemporary fantasy set in a world where magic and magical beings are out in the open, and regulated by the government. Our main character, Linus, is a lifetime bureaucrat with a humdrum but stable life. He’s got his house and his job and his cat. It’s his responsibility to visit orphanages for magical children and make sure the orphanages are taking care of the children properly, and close them if they’re not. He will remain objective at all cost; it’s in the rules. And then he gets a special assignment.
There are kids in this, and they were lovely. Just the right amount of human foibles and vulnerability. A lot of people have mentioned that the main message of this book is acceptance and tolerance, but I think that’s simplifying things quite a bit. The thing that this book got right for me was the idea that one of the reasons it’s important to care for others and see them as whole human beings is that people thrive when they are really *seen* by other people, when other people have positive, kind expectations for them, and believe they can overcome whatever obstacles are in their lives. The adults in this book nurture the shit out of the kids, and respect them in the process. It was so lovely.
Highly recommend this one.
CBR Bingo: Happy
(Is this some sort of record for squares being filled but no BINGOs in sight?)