“Humanity is so weird. If we’re not laughing, we’re crying or running for our lives because monsters are trying to eat us. And they don’t even have to be real monsters. They could be the ones we make up in our heads. Don’t you think that’s weird?”
Linus Baker lives a dull, ordinary life. He works at DICOMY, the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, where his job is to ensure that the magical children living in state run homes are being cared for properly. The RULES AND REGULATIONS hanbook for the job is always close at hand, and Linus follows it religiously. Yet Linus himself is a bit of a pushover, letting his landlady, coworkers, and even his cat treat him with no respect.
One day, Linus is called into the Extremely Upper Management office. He fears the worst, but is surprised to be given a top secret assignment. They want him to spend a month at the DICOMY orphanage on Marsyas Island to observe the children and their master, Arthur Parnassus. Linus is chosen because of his ability to remain impartial and avoid personal attachments in his previous reports.
Linus travels by train, and upon arriving at the town near the island, he finds that the residents do not care for the orphanage on Marsyas Island. The town is plastered with “See something, say something” posters that encourage citizens to report those with magical abilities. Even Linus becomes frightened when he decides to learn about the children he will be meeting, and opens the first folder to find one is the literal antichrist.
The charges of Marysas Orphanage are:
-Lucifer, better known as Lucy, the 6-year-old antichrist
-Talia, a crabby female gnome
-Phee, a wood sprite
-Chauncey, a…well, noone really knows what he is. He is sort of slimey and has tentacles and eyestalks
-Theodore, a winged, rare wyvern
-Sal, who transforms into a Pomeranian when he becomes frightened
This motley crew is cared for by Arthur Parnassus, a very kind but mysterious man. Linus is intrigued by him, but isn’t given a lot of information. Once he gets over his initial fear, Linus begins to understand and love the children and Arthur. Lucy is a bright child who loves music and occasionally says evil things to get a reaction. Talia grows the most beautiful garden. Phee grows the tallest trees. Chauncey dreams of becoming a bellhop. Theodore has a horde of buttons and his own unique language. The most difficult to access, Sal, writes beautiful poetry.
After spending so long on Marsyas, it becomes Linus’ home more than his actual house. The residents become his family. This makes it that much harder for him to leave. This book was lovely to read. There were countless times when something so adorable happened that I just had to stop and cry for a second. The kids were super cute, but especially Lucy, he was just the cutest little antichrist. It took me forever to finish, but it was truly a joy to read and such a sweet story.