Author: TJ Klune
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Page Count: 400
Rating: 5+ stars out of 5
Read book blurb here
This ... THIS is the book that absolutely requires a time machine so you can go back in time and once again have the unimagineable joy of reading it again for the very first time.
Linus Baker works at DICOMY (Department in Charge of Magical Youth) and inspects the orphanages where magical children are housed across the country. When Linus is called before Extremely Upper Management and sent to investigate a very special orphanage on a secluded island, his life changes in ways he never could have expected.
We meet forest sprite Phee, Sal, dear sweet Chauncey, bearded gnome Talia, wyvern Theodore (who I visualize as one of the little dragons in the Dragonriders of Pern series), Zoe and of course, six-year-old Lucy (it's a nickname for Lucifer .... because Lucy is the Antichrist ...) and Mr. Arthur Parnassus.
"I'm hellfire. I am the darkest parts of --- "
"You still need to have a bath after supper .... perhaps we could save the hellfire and the darkest parts for tomorrow."
Lucy shrugged. "Okay," And then he ran past Linus into the house, shouting for Talia and Chauncey. "Did you see what I did? He was so scared!"Klune's universe building is fantastic and his richly developed characters capture your heart first by black humor and this weird sort of charm, and then finally boomerangs into a love that makes your heart ache, but in the best possible way.
I don't want to spoil the plot, but suffice it to say we readers get a rich fantasy world, some Kantian ethical theory, an ever-so-leisurely developed love story, lessons on the nature of good and evil and ultimately something so pure and precious. I find myself wanting to live in this ramshackle house by the beautiful cerulean sea. Don't you wish you were here? 5+ stars and a Recommended Read.