Under the Whispering Door
Author: TJ Klune
Published: September 21, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 15-25, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 3 stars
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.
I absolutely adored the audiobook of Cerulean Sea, so I was looking forward to Whispering Door, but for some reason it did not work for me. Maybe it was that Fantasy isn’t one of my typical genres, maybe I wasn’t in the mindset needed for listening to this one, maybe it was the narrator… I’m not really sure. It could also be that I did not connect with Wallace as he was a bit of an a**hole, but that is the point of the book and his change over the course of the novel, but still… This will be yet another book I will need to actually read in the future versus listening to the audiobook.
The beginning of the novel did have my attention, as did the last portion, but I seemed to tune out the rest. Whispering Door does have a similar feel to Cerulean Sea and it seems that the two books are in the same universe as there were a couple of references to Cerulean Sea. Maybe I was wanting more adorable kids and we just don’t get them in this novel.
There is a trigger warning at the beginning of the novel in the form of an author’s note that the book deals various types of death including suicide. I will definitely give this one a physical read at some point in the future, but for now Whispering Door receives 3 stars.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Daniel Henning
Published: March 16, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: August 6-13, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.
The House in the Cerulean Sea is one that people have been talking about and one several people selected to read in June for Diverseathon. Two of my friends whose opinions I respect (Yami and Beccie) both read it and loved it so I decided to request the audiobook from my Libby app. It took two months for me to be able to get it, and I loved it as well!
From the book description this book did not interest me. But I decided to give it a try and I am glad I did listen to Beccie and Yami! We have Linus who is a stickler for the rules and he has also worked at his government job as a case worker in the same position for many years (This sounds so familiar!!! ) He is summoned by those at the top of DICOMY (The Department in Charge Of Magical Youth) who are known as Extremely Upper Management (OMG! That is such a government title!) Linus is given a new assignment: He is to spend a month at the Marsyas Island Orphanage, where there are just 6 children, but these are not just any magical children as they are ‘extra special’. One of the children is even the Anti-Christ…..
Cerulean Sea is just so much fun! You get attached to these children right away. My favorite child is Chauncey then followed very closely by Lucy. Everything is covered in this book, it is heart warming with some mystery in it with fabulous characters. Even Linus as our main character who is just an average nobody, he grows on you as he changes throughout the novel. This novel is about belonging, family of a different sort, and not hating or fearing what you don’t understand.
I listened to the audiobook version and highly recommend it. Narrated by Daniel Henning and he played each child with a distinct voice. His portrayal of Linus sounded similar to Ryan Reynolds, so I pictured a very serious Ryan Reynolds with glasses and slicked back hair as I listened. And I loved my picturing of Ryan Reynolds as Linus! (Hint Hint Hollywood: Give Ryan Reynolds this role when it becomes a film/series!)
This is a novel that everyone should read and love and maybe even learn something too!
“A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with.”
The House in the Cerulean Sea is highly recommended.[Top]