• The House in the Cerulean Sea

  • By: TJ Klune
  • Narrated by: Daniel Henning
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (12,649 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Daniel Henning is a great narrator for this quirky and theatrical audiobook.... Henning revels in a cornucopia of characters, diving into nuanced voices and colorful moments with accents and growls, tone shifts and whispers.... This is definitely a title for those who enjoy fantasy stories replete with gnomes and witches and all in between." (AudioFile Magazine) 

Lambda Literary Award-winning author TJ Klune's breakout contemporary fantasy

Linus Baker is a by-the-book case worker in the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. He's tasked with determining whether six dangerous magical children are likely to bring about the end of the world. 

Arthur Parnassus is the master of the orphanage. He would do anything to keep the children safe, even if it means the world will burn. And his secrets will come to light.

The House in the Cerulean Sea is an enchanting love story, masterfully told, about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place - and realizing that family is yours. 

Chicago Tribune Best Books of the Year - 2020

Amazon.com Best Books of the Year - 2020

A Macmillan Audio production from Tor Books

"1984 meets The Umbrella Academy with a pinch of Douglas Adams thrown in." (Gail Carriger, New York Times best-selling author of Soulless)

©2020 TJ Klune (P)2020 Macmillan Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic Reviews

ALA Alex Awards Winner (Adult for Young Adults), 2021

Chicago Tribune Best Books of the Year, 2020

Amazon.com Best Books of the Year, 2020

Featured Article: Celebrate Award Season 2022 with Page-to-Screen Nominees and Listening Recs Based on Your Frontrunners


And now, it's time to honor and celebrate the achievements of the artists who brought these treasures to the big screen. No matter who you're rooting for when the ceremony begins, these listens are all worthy of a golden statuette in our books. Here are the audiobooks that directly inspired the nominees and a few others to check out based on your own personal frontrunners.

What listeners say about The House in the Cerulean Sea

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Story Line

The cause of the two star rating deals primarily with the narrator. I guess this is classified as young teen book. It does not have to be but the narrator used a tone and methodology which is intended for those 12 years old and younger. I found this quite disgusting and distracting. Just read the words with out the infantile inflection. The story itself has fairly good substance and good world building. The characters are worth remembering but not as the narrator has depicted. I might listen to another book by this author but I will not listen to any other book with this same narrator. I am disappointed in the presentation.

89 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful!

This was TJ's first book with a new publisher, and of course, it's wonderful! I honestly can't imagine anything he writes would disappoint me. HE made me fall in love with the people in this story. I don't know how he manages it, but he always does. You care what happens to these extrordinary people.
For the life of me, I can't figure out what time period the story takes place, but I suspect it is not a time ever encountered on this Earth. Nevertheless, it all just works. I do hope we get to revisit this world.
The narrator did a fantastic job of coming up with unique voices for each of the characters. he conveyed the emotion of every scene. I laughed and cried along with all of them.
Oh just stop reading my prattle and go listen to the book! You will love it.

37 people found this helpful

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I want this to be in the screens!

I love this. For the sake of comparison, this gives me a touch of ghibli, a touch of Tim Burton, and a heavy load of TJ. It was "more youngster appropriate" than the other books published by the same author (considering a different target audience) but that did not undermine the feels the book gives. In this book, we follow how Linus learn to live instead of being alive. How he went against his principles to find love not only to the Master, the kids but also himself. Can I also add that at one point in the story, I felt as if I was Christopher Robin stumbling into the Hundred Acre Woods and met Pooh and his friends? That's how amazing this book is, Its heartwarming, children friendly and with a lot of family-love. And I have to say, I ADORE Sal.

Daniel Henning did an amazing job in voicing the different characters in the book (and there was a LOT of characters). How he portrays the different personalities of the kids was amazing. His narration felt as if I was watching an animated movie on the screen and he singlevoicedly *pun intended* dubbed all the characters in the film. That is indeed an amazing feat. Kudos to Daniel for his works in this book.

31 people found this helpful

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Nice and Family friendly.

well written
easy listening
nice little fairytale
whith a sprinkle of poetry.

I like the mc, the children and the plot.
most of all I like the lack of sex, which makes the book family friendly.

29 people found this helpful

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Thank you, T,J. Klune

As I first started listening to this story, I wondered if I had preordered the wrong book. But no, it was written by T.J. Klune and it was LGBTQ, so why did it seem like I was listening to a children's book? It's not a kids' book, though there are parts that many children would love and I can imagine myself curling up beside my grandson/daughter and reading it to them much like Peter Falk ala Princess Bride. But mostly, I think it's because this book appealed to the child in me. It reached a place of innocence, wonder, and playfulness that I haven't experienced in a very long time - and I loved every minute of it.

23 people found this helpful

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I really DO wish I was there!

I knew I wouldn't be disappointed with a TJ Klune book. It was everything a great book should be. I was worried about a new narrator to the Kluneverse family, but Daniel Henning did a spectacular job. I will forever cherish Chauncey! The writing, the message, the characters, the voices... it was all just perfect. Thank you TJ for working so hard, TOR, Daniel Henning and everyone involved in this wonderful story.

19 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story

There is so much I love about this story. I loved Linus’ journey of self discovery throughout the whole book. The children are delightful and Arthur is absolutely wonderful!
Daniel Henning was a completely unknown narrator to me. He really brought this book to life. His voices for Arthur and Linus were perfect!

15 people found this helpful

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Pure perfection

Delightfully written. A wonderful story about a group of misfit orphans and the misfit sent to evaluate their home. Themes of friendship, acceptance, and understand permeate throughout. The characters are unforgettable, and the setting utterly believable from page one. A winner.

Daniel Henning's narration is captivating. Every character breathes its own breath.

11 people found this helpful

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An absolute delight

This wonderful, wonderful book should be read by everyone! It is such a delight and it's storyline, lessons and beautiful characters are such a joy. What TJ has presented us with us the perfect story for these uncertain times, full of love and light, the perfect use of the Dante's Cave allegory and a lesson for us all.
Daniel Henning has captured this story brilliantly in his narration, the children come to life in his interpretation of their voices and his performance especially of Arthur is spot on to what I had imagined it to be.
You should absolutely listen to The House in the Cerulean Sea, your heart will thank you. 5 stars.

11 people found this helpful

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scooby doo goul school did it better

"and everybody clapped" is how this entire book read. its like some chubby lgbtq person out there had arguments in shower with some fictional person and "this is what I would have said and everybody would have clapped". The author really wanted some sort of validation in life and it wad their fantasy to blow up at their neighbors and coworkers. I love how theres that one citizen that comes to the rescue and can fight off an angry hoard "Ill take back your inheritance, Ive seen the light and youre all bad people" . the entire Lucy character is a walking talking "Im so random" tumblr page.

just because its an lgbtq book doesn't mean its great guys. I dislike how people promote it as such.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lisa Hughes
  • 04-01-20

A perfect narration for a perfect book

The House on the Cerulean Sea is the book we need right now. It's so uplifting and hopeful, with such rich characters and beautiful use of language.
Daniel Henning beings it to life spectacularly. The voice for each character is perfect and when his voice broke with emotion in one of the final scenes, I sighed in happiness.
Yes TJ, I do wish I was there.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Lyall
  • 03-20-20

So adorable!

This book is all the love and happiness I needed right now. Can't wait to listen to it again and I hope there will be a sequel someday.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Taylor
  • 04-28-20

Literal serotonin in a book

This book is sweet. It is heartwarming. It is gay. And it features a call to revolution for the marginalised. It is literally the perfect book.
And its narrated by perhaps the best voice actor audible has ever had.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-20

Heart warming

A beautiful story about the power of love and how accepting those who are different, can allow you to find yourself.

Particularly welcome in these difficult times

5 people found this helpful

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  • Shannon Brown
  • 04-25-20

Beautiful, touching, and a joy to listen to

First up, the story is fantastic. It's sweet and heartwarming, without being cliche or predictable. It was the perfect thing to pick up during this state of social distancing, because this book remembers the good in the world, and in humanity.

I listened to this book over the course of a few nights before going to sleep, each time staying up a little later to hear the end of a chapter. Last night, I sat and listened to the last 5 and a half hours in one go. I couldn't help it - I needed to see the end, to make sure it ended happily for everyone. Never before have I been so invested in the happiness of characters.

This book is also fantastic for David Henning's performance. He does an excellent job with all the different voices, which really did bring the story to life.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Delano
  • 04-23-20

A funny sweet warming story

What a lovely story about acceptance, love and the family you make. As usual MrKlue transports you vividly to this unknown land sucks you in, tugs your heart and makes you smile in the end.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. E. J. Curtis
  • 03-24-20

Amazing

Very cute story about acceptance from a very talented author. The narration was rather good too.

3 people found this helpful

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  • marion
  • 04-25-21

A Charming little Novel

I’ve enjoyed this book, it was off beat and has a thread of gentle humour running right through.
Full of social comment and random things, as well as being entertaining, speaking to a wide age range.

1 person found this helpful

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  • S. Harding
  • 03-21-21

Beyond fabulous!!

This is the most fabulous story. The characters are fantastic as is the narrator, he really brings the characters to life. This audible was recommended to me by a beloved family member and because l loved it so much they bought me the book as a present.

1 person found this helpful

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  • philip
  • 03-19-21

Fantastic

I loved everything about this book. Especially the characters. A perfect story that allows you to escape somewhere else and witness a wonderful journey of acceptance, love and kindness. The narrator (Daniel Henning) has done an amazing job of bringing the characters to life. Loved the humour and emotion and the message that it's ok to be yourself. I would recommend this book/audiobook to anyone. Brilliant!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nicole C. Lopes
  • 05-11-20

Best book I've listened to in ages!

I absolutely loved this book. The narrator was amazing and I loved all of the characters voices so much. The story was wonderfully quirky and right up my alley. I hope this author might write a sequel! I would love to know what happens next.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kristine
  • 09-19-21

literally the most heartwarming book

very gay rights, very found family, very sticking it to oppresive structures. we love it

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma Todd
  • 12-28-20

Best narrator I’ve ever listened to

Literally by far the best narration I’ve ever heard, he managed to do a different incredibly distinct voices for every single character including the women. 10/10

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-26-20

Reflective funny tale

What a wonderful story. I enjoyed this thoughtful tale from start to finish. It held themes we all need reminding of... Truly beautiful story that had me laughing out loud

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mandi June
  • 09-10-22

the best book I've ever read. highly recommended.

this is the most delightful, wholesome, and enjoyable book I have ever read. I recommend it to literally everyone.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-05-22

Joyous

Perfection. So glad to have stumbled across this author. Pure delight. He creates such wonderful characters. Regularly makes me smile and laugh. Plot holds no real surprises but this is not what his writing is about. Fast become one of my very favourite contemporary fantasy authors.
The voice of the audio is masterful, too.

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  • DebB
  • 08-24-22

Delightful..loved it!

This is such a sweet lovely book, I found myself laughing out loud in parts and a little teary in others.
It’s beautiful!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SNJ
  • 08-19-22

Enjoyable enough but not what I expected

When I read the synopsis and listened to the brief clip I didn’t get the sense of just how fantastical this story was, which I was a bit annoyed about as the clip gave the Seb’s this was about children with psychic powers or so on. Hard to get a sense of books when you can’t flick through to get a gist ahead of purchase so I do think the overview could have given more of a sense of the characters. I expected something a little more grounded in reality but it was quite a stretch when the characters started to sound like something out of kids movies like Monsters Inc. I’m sure some listeners would love the genre, I just wasn’t expecting it. The story overall was gentle and while I did almost give up when I found the characters too unbelievable, glad I didn’t. Like other reviews mention, it is all a bit rainbows and butterflies (quite unbelievable that 6 children would never fall out and it all be happy families), but sometimes you need a bit of that.
So if you like very fantastical stories, you could well enjoy this, just be prepared to enter a very child-like fantastical setting.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-14-22

Stunning

Beautiful book dealing with ongoing prejudice in a very supervising delightful way. Highly recommend you have a listen to this fabulously narrated story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • elizabeth b.
  • 08-05-22

A marvellous story

I really love this story quite lovely wonderful characters and delightful narration just the best