Hmm, there were a lot of positives in how I felt about this book, and yet….
The main character, Linus, is a shy single gay man who works as an inspector of homes for magical children. The world in which the book is set is very prejudiced against magical creatures, which exist but which are nearing extinction due in most part to genocide by ‘normal’ humans.
Apparently the book was written as a reaction to the author’s horror regarding how the Canadian government used to take indigenous children from their families and put them into homes to be taught how to be civilised and then adopted by white families.
Linus means well, but is a stickler for the rules until he spends time at a very special home (The House in The Cerulean Sea) and meets the children who live there and their carer, Arthur.
Linus instantly fancies Arthur, although he wouldn’t admit it, even to himself, and the growing romantic relationship between them is actually very lovely and well done.
What annoyed me was how sweet and saccharine the children in the home were , including ‘Lucy’ the son of the devil and the actual antichrist. It was like a Disney cartoon version of Hades with flowers and butterflies. I don’t know if the narrator added to this with his ‘posh American’ almost patronising tone that some people put on when talking to small children.
It could have been a much darker, and I think, richer novel if it had a bit more realism.
I did enjoy it, on the whole, although it felt like a book for much younger children, apart from the occasional adult themes.