A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.
Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days.
But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn.
How do you even begin to review a book that stole your heart, ripped it to pieces and put it back together again? This book was a total and utter rollercoaster, and I adored it. It made me laugh out loud and it made me sob. It made me angry and it made me smile quietly to myself. It gave me everything I could ever want from a book.
Linus Baker leads a quiet life that he fully believes he is satisfied with – until he is sent on an assignment to a children’s home full of magical youth on an island far away. The lives of Linus and these children hold so many secrets, so much love and friendship and magic. This is found family to the highest degree, and I adored it.
Hate is loud, but I think you’ll learn it’s because it’s only a few people shouting, desperate to be heard.
The writing is just absolutely breathtaking. I listened to this partly on audiobook and read it partly in physical format and I loved the writing both ways. It was so beautiful, lyrical and poetic. The dialogue is beautiful and although would be far fetched and unrealistic in any other book, it fits perfectly with these characters. And the characters, ah the characters are really what makes this book.
They are all so individual and impossible not to love. There is something magical about these children that teach everybody around them about compassion, hope and understanding. This story carries so many important messages that will leave every reader full of hope and an unexplainable, undeniable warmth. I spent the last 20 or so pages of this book sobbing because I just needed everything to be okay.
You might not ever be able to change their minds, but so long as your remember you’re not alone, you will overcome.
This book is like a warm hug, a blanket wrapped around your shoulders on the coldest day. It is absolutely delightful, full of characters that will steal your heart and an island that you won’t help but fall in love with. It is the ultimate comfort read and I know it will be one I don’t forget in a hurry. A new favourite of all time and possibly my favourite book of 2021 so far.
5 out of 5 stars
May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽
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