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.
I really liked and appreciated Linus’s character. He is so realistic and straightforward with everything that he does, he realises his life might not be what he envisioned but he is comfortable and accepts it. But the evolution and growth he shows over the course of the plot was wonderful to read and to see him open up and develop feelings for not only Arthur but all of the kids was soo gratifying and beautiful.
I also liked the fact that we get a lot of information about each of the other characters and how they came to be on Marsyas Island. How they have been treated in the past and just how resilient and strong each of these children are by moving on and embracing the family they have now. Each one of them are so distinct and distinguishable and I loved the fact that we get enough interaction with all of them for me to form a bond and be fully invested.
Arthur I was curious about from the start because of how little we knew about him from his file. I had a feeling that there was something more to him than what we were shown because of how dedicated he was to keeping the children safe. There are definitely clues given throughout the book but I had no idea what it was. I liked the banter between him and Linus and to see how their relationship blossoms was just wholesome and lovely.
Overall l didn’t think I was that invested or even really affected by this book until Linus comes back and asks them if he can stay. That whole monologue really touched me and that’s when everything really just came together. This wasn’t anything spectacular or ground-breaking I feel but its more about the way it makes you feel. It’s about growth, acceptance, embracing yourself and coming to terms with your past trauma and moving on. This was a fantastic, quick, wholesome read that I would recommend to everyone!
⭐️5/5 I definitely cried lol