Rating – 5/5
This might be my favourite read this year. Absolutely Delightful! Definitely a five star read, this was so heartwarming and wholesome.
The premise was simple but the book was brimming with such fantastical detail and comic potential. The witty dialogues just fly off the pages and I can guarantee that you will fall in love with every character of the house in the cerulean sea.
Caseworker Linus Baker of the Department in Charge of Magical Youths plays strictly by the book. Actually using the word ‘play’ where he is concerned is just wrong, he is that much of a stickler. His job is to investigate orphanages that house magical youth and write up a report that leads to the orphanage either continuing or shutting down. He does this by keeping his emotions at bay and maintaining strict distance with the people and kids at the orphanage. That is, until he gets a strange new assignment from ‘Extremely Upper Management’ to investigate an island orphanage for magical children that are deemed especially dangerous. For reasons unknown, he is also asked to investigate the charming and enigmatic caretaker of the orphanage, Arthur. Linus arrives to realise that yes the children are definitely dangerous but they are also just children, in need of love and care.
This book has one of my favourite tropes – ‘the found family’ and it is the perfect escape to love, a story about what it means to belong with a generous dollop of whimsy and playful details. Arthur ( the caregiver) and the kids at the orphanage are as wildly colorful and unpredictable as Linus is unidimensional and rigid. But there is something so gentle and endearing about how each one comes with so much hurt and emotional baggage to truly find themselves fitting together as one family.
The kids! Oh these darling, magical and wonderful kids will have your heart bursting with love and emotion. There is the adorable naughty Lucy ( short for Lucifer) who is the antichrist. Talia, the fierce female gnome. Theodore, a small wyvern with a penchant for hoarding. Phee, a forest sprite. Sal, a shy and sweet were-pomeranian who is harbouring a whole lot of hurt and Chauncey, who is of an unknown species ( essentially a green blob with tentacles) and who dreams of becoming a bellhop one day.
I was there for everything in this book. The whimsical way they tackled something as delicate as prejudice, to the slow burn queer romance that will tug at your heart strings. The book wears its heart on it’s sleeves and is bubbling and brimming with quirky behaviour, witty dialogue and endearing traitsl. There is not a single dull moment in this story and It will definitely give you all the feels and linger with you long after you are done with it.