The House in the Cerulean Sea was on a best of list, but I can’t remember which one I got it from anymore. I highly recommend Daniel Henning’s read of the audio book by TJ Klune. The story is set in the present, or perhaps the near future, but there are magical creatures. Like many stories, there is a registry of the creatures, there’s a lot of discrimination and fear. In this case, the creatures are children, and they live in an orphanage run by Arthur Parnassus isolated from the world on an island.
Linus Baker works as a case worked in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He lives a very gray, by-the-book existence. He is hired by Extremely Upper Management (the best name for the higher ups in charge of a bureaucracy) to investigate the orphanage and decide if the children should stay in Arthur’s care.
This is a lovely, if slow moving story about a person in Linus coming around to live a more colorful existence with these children and Arthur. The children are wonderful, and one of them is the actual son of the Anti-Christ, nicknamed Lucy. Linus observes their day to day lives, he goes into town with them and experiences peoples’ prejudices of them. They have adventures, and slowly he comes to love them all. And Arthur too. It’s a story about finding family and I found it very moving.
I do recommend the audio book because Daniel Henning does the different voices of each child, And there are a lot of them. I thought he did a good job of making them sound like children. I would definitely seek out more of TJ Klune’s work and Daniel Henning’s narration.