The House in the Cerulean Sea (Hardcover)

By TJ Klune

Tor Books, 9781250217288, 400pp.

Publication Date: March 17, 2020

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (2/2/2021)

List Price: 26.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

April 2020 Indie Next List

The House in the Cerulean Sea is a heart-swelling wave of sweetness and hope. Mild-mannered government caseworker Linus Baker is sent on a secret assignment to an island orphanage he’s never even heard of. The astonishing inhabitants he gets to know there will change his life and make him reassess everything he thought he knew. This book will leave you believing in the good in everyone — even those society has given up on — and contemplating how huge changes have to start somewhere.”
— Haley Stocking, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
View the List

Description

Lambda Literary Award-winning author TJ Klune’s bestselling, breakout contemporary fantasy

A USA Today Bestseller!
An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020"
One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies”

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world.

Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.

"1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in." —Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless



About the Author

TJ KLUNE is a USA Today bestselling, Lambda Literary Award-winning author and an ex-claims examiner for an insurance company. His novels include The House in the Cerulean Sea and The Extraordinaries. Being queer himself, TJ believes it's important—now more than ever—to have accurate, positive, queer representation in stories.


Praise For The House in the Cerulean Sea

A USA Today Bestseller!
An Indie Next Pick!
One of Publishers Weekly's "Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2020"
One of Book Riot’s “20 Must-Read Feel-Good Fantasies”

The House in The Cerulean Sea is a modern fairy tale about learning your true nature and what you love and will protect. It's a beautiful book.” —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author

1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in. Touching, tender, and truly delightful, The House in the Cerulean Sea is an utterly absorbing story of tolerance, found family, and defeating bureaucracy.”—Gail Carriger, New York Times bestselling author of Soulless

“Sweet, comforting, and kind, this book is very close to perfect. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a work of classic children's literature written for adults and children alike, with the perspective and delicacy of the modern day. I cannot recommend it highly enough.” —Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Every Heart a Doorway

“Quirk and charm give way to a serious exploration of the dangers of complacency in this delightful, thought-provoking Orwellian fantasy from Klune.... This tale of found family is hopeful to its core. Readers will revel in Klune’s wit and ingenuity.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Lambda Literary Award-winning author Klune (The Art of Breathing, 2019, etc.) has a knack for creating endearing characters, and readers will grow to love Arthur and the orphans alongside Linus... fans of quirky fantasy will eat it up. A breezy and fun contemporary fantasy." —Kirkus

“This is a sweet narrative about the value of asking questions and the benefits of giving people (especially children) a chance to be safe, protected, and themselves, regardless of what assumptions one might glean from, say, reading their case file.” —Booklist

“This inclusive fantasy is quite possibly the greatest feel-good story ever to involve the Antichrist.... The House in the Cerulean Sea will delight fans of Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series and any reader looking for a burst of humor and hope.” —Shelf Awareness

“TJ Klune is a master storyteller.” —The Mary Sue

"A delightful tale about chosen families, and how to celebrate differences." —Library Journal

"This contemporary fantasy can satisfy any sweet tooth with its found family story and its gentle queer romance." —Book Riot

“If ever there was an author to watch out for, [Klune] is definitely that author.” —Culturess Daily



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

1. As an employee of DICOMY, Linus Baker works under very rigid rules and regulations (and that’s literally the name of the handbook he refers to quite often!). He’s constantly being monitored, yet he still manages to produce quality work. Why does he push through working under such pressure? And if you were in his shoes, would you be able to work under those conditions?


2. Linus is a very lonely man and prior to investigating the Marsyas Island Orphanage, his only friend and family is his aloof cat Calliope. While building a family and a home becomes important for Linus as the story progresses, why wasn’t this a priority in his past? Why is he so isolated as an adult, and do you think this can this be attributed to what his home life was like growing up?


3. This book is thoroughly endearing, and part of the reason is because of the children! They each have such unique and incredible powers. Whose magical abilities appeal to you most? If you were to choose your own magical powers, what would they be and why?


4. Linus and Lucy bond over their love of music, and artists such as The Everly Brothers, Sam Cooke, Bobby Darin, The Coasters, Little Richard, The Big Bopper, and Buddy Holly are frequently mentioned. Why is music such a large part of the story? What role does it play in the characters’ lives?


5. Let’s talk about Chauncey! He’s such a loveable and sweet character. It’s clear he wants to grow up and help people. While there are many professions in which people help others (like doctors or firefighters), what about the prospect of being a bellhop specifically entices him so much?


6. Each of the characters in this book have different fears to work through and conquer. Arthur fears for the safety and wellbeing of the children. Linus fears stepping out of his comfort zone and truly being seen. The villagers fear the magical powers the children possess—and that fear manifests into hate. Do you think the characters face their fears in beneficial ways? How do you deal with your fears? Do you feel you can relate to any of the characters’ ways of coping?


7. Body size is mentioned quite often throughout the book. Linus always attempts to shrink himself—both literally and figuratively. Can you explain the dichotomy between him being a larger person, yet seeming to take up little or no space? And how does size have an impact on the story overall?


8. Lucy suffers from terrible nightmares. He says that in these nightmares he has spiders on the brain. His night terrors are so bad that his bedroom is actually the closet off of Arthur’s room. Do you think Lucy sleeping so close to Arthur is a good idea, or does it prevent him from being more independent like the other children? Does it show favoritism in any way? Why does he suffer from such terrible nightmares?


9. The townspeople who live near the Marsyas Island live in fear of the six children in the orphanage. Why do you think that is? Where does prejudice come from? Why do people fear the unknown?


10. At the heart of the novel is the importance of surrounding yourself with people who feel like home and finding a place where you wholeheartedly belong. How do you personally define “home?” What are the essentials?