Summary Klune

What we enjoyed:

  • Found family trope, always a favourite; family dynamic very realistic
  • Dynamic between the children great, felt like siblings, hilarious, very enjoyable
  • Zoe cool!
  • Character constellations were great
  • Wyvern / mini dragon<3
  • Wholesome
  • We grew very attached to the children
  • Thalia, Lucy are favourites!
  • Children the best part of the book
  • Character dynamics, SO funny
  • Klune shows how much damage other people can have on other people –> “you can’t do this” adds up and is harmful; hopeful message
  • Protagonist soft-spoken, middle-aged man, without particular talents –> fits well into the busy well in the busy world of the orphanage
  • Descriptions of the children, living together as a family, “you could fall right into the story” –> we also want to go to that island and spend time with them
  • S. as a good example for how much damage can be done by treating children badly just because people are scared of them; great character development
  • Finding a home, arriving at a home
  • Light and dark imagery very well done: protagonist stuck in the rainy, grim darkness –> island: happiness, everything is bright, the ocean and sky sparkle
  • Great character development –> becoming alive
  • Transformation of Linus believable and so sweet –> he learns what matters in life, struggles with that
  • Queer relationship not focussed on teeangers –> middle-aged adults
  • Magic system: we don’t have one, but kinda cool. Different magical beings and powers unexplained, but it fit here –> being open and accepting of everything –> inclusive
  • Hard to let go of past self and embrace something new
  • Reminded us of 1984 (bureacracy quite absurd), Momo, Terry Gilliam movies like “Brazil”, Douglas Adams –> pastiche of it all?
  • Interesting connection between grim descriptions and funny slapstick
  • Arthur always called Linus “Dear”, which was very cute; they also got together right in the end –> good timing
  • Overly dramatic but in a nice way!
  • Linus annoying because it took him ages to commit to changes but also very authentic –> it is hard to turn your entire life around –> authentic for an introvert –> how he thinks vs. how he acts –> takes courage to act upon them
  • Surprising plot, we didn’t forsee the end!
  • “I really loved it, yeah”
  • The children got a say in Linus staying — great message to include the children in that kind of decision –> not ‘just’ a romantic ending –> family
  • Arthur and Linus’ ending was sweet: “meet that one person to spend the rest of their lives with” –> have a final ending –> they can settle down –> build a life together –> WITH the children
  • Gave us hope (which we badly need(ed))

What we discussed:

  • Linus also a bit annoying and a coward in some cases; “just get a grip” and you do you!
  • Lacked originiality because it owes a lot to other works (for some of us)
  • World-Building a bit lacking –> American or British or neither? Why has the world developed this way? Why does everybody hate magical beings? Where do these sentiments come from?
  • Terribly corny in the end (but we also loved that), almost too sweet to digest
  • Constant patronisation –> educate children and reader –> sometimes too obvious, too much of a TED-talk on how you should live
  • Baffling how the children were depicted –> age and level of maturity did not always correlate –> explained: Lucy wiser than he should be because he’s technically not 6yo; teenager immensly shy and thus not as outspoken as one might expect, mutters things and is traumatised and does not want to speak up
  • Took a while to get properly hooked with the book, without the reading group a person would’ve probably not continued reading because it was so bleak and depressing –> arrival at the island: fascinating and exciting
  • Linus overly afraid of Lucy a bit too much; not that relatable; overdoing it; quite clear from the beginning that Lucy uses dark humour to tease everybody –> was quite clear that it was just a ‘game’ and not reality for Lucy
  • Ending disappointing for some –> got super corny, not surprising as we all expected him to stay on the island; super enjoyable and wholesome though –> bit predictable –> we needed that focus on something wholesome and being kind
  • Speech at the end was a bit too much, but overall we really looked forward to that ending because we didn’t want anything to go wrong, we wanted that happy end

Other books we talked about:

  • “Tales from Verania” series by Klune: wizard apprentice in love with knight’s commander; funny, more explicit in terms of the romance scenes, packed with sexual puns; makes fun of all the fantasy stereotypes that there are, “I laughed tears, it’s really really funny” –> audiobook very good, “there’s also a hornless gay unicorn”
  • “Green Creek” by Klune: werewolf pack –> romance story; four books with different protagonists
  • “The Extraordinaries” by Klune: YA, sweet, ADHD, superhero fanboy, wholesome
  • “Gideon the Ninth” by Muir: “hottest piece of speculative fiction that I have read in quite a while” (action-wise), stolen a lot from “Dune” + Gothic
  • “Priory of the Orange Tree” by Shannon: “THE BRICK”; interesting but not overly original fantasy novel; plays with dragons and world-building; queer romance
  • “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell: gay Harry Potter fanfiction, amazing
  • Cutest short story about two very queer people; –> check out #other-books-you-read
  • “Mord in Sunset Hall” by Leonie Swann: German, set in an English village, five elderly people investigating the murders, very weird bordering on bizarre, reminded a lot of “Howl’s Moving Castle”, tame pet toirtoise ❤
  • “The Rat Queen”: comic, typical fantasy cast, high fantasy with low fantasy humour, surprisingly funny; female gaze incredible!



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