Author: T J Klune
This is a heart-warming book, sweet and simple.
Linus Baker lives his lonely life by the rules (which he holds almost sacred, carrying the Rules and Regulations book with him everywhere) and follows a strict routine until Extremely Upper Management (yes, that’s what they call the upper management), send him on an assignment 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, with their charming caretaker, Arthur Parnassus.
This is not a regular fantasy story but has much deeper undertones of love and friendship. It tackles tough questions of prejudice and biases in our world and how the smallest of steps can make a difference.
I liked the character of Linus Baker and how it evolved during the course of the story. He learnt to speak out his mind and think for himself beyond what the government expects. He is much more than what he thinks of himself and his character arc came out nicely throughout the book, till he became externally what he had always been internally.
Arthur, on the other hand, is likable but seems too good to be true. He is kind, dependable, steadfast, always saying the right things and advising the children at every opportunity (I don’t think young children take so well to being preached at every instance).
Each of the children have unique characteristics and abilities. All of them are lovable.
The dialogues are mushy and repetitive in style and content. The story could have been many pages shorter if the repetitions were removed.
Despite these minor issues, I enjoyed the story for its warmth and simplicity. It’s a feel-good book that seems more suitable for young adults than for adults, but can be enjoyed by all.