This is a mix “review” of two things I got that I couldn’t really separate just for the sake of posting about them.
The first is the deck of Tarot of the Divine. This was made by Yoshi Yoshitani and the focus was to make it diverse, queer and just full or new meaning. Each card is a story, some deeper meaning and I absolutely love the artwork and the connections made, plus the fact that it features stories and lore from all over the world, not just the usuals or just the European fairytales. It goes beyond that and does an amazing job and the meanings of the story/lore matching the meaning of the card they represent in the deck.
As a tie in, there is a book, Beneath the Moon, which collects the artwork and stories that feature in the deck. It doesn’t collect everything, since it’d be a very thick book if it did, but it features the main ones, and it made me really excited to read the stories and feel like this is a perfect fairytale book to keep coming back to. It has the stories, gorgeous colourful art and a lot of diversity in cultures and countries.
As a coherent couple fo things, I am just in awe at the immense work Yoshi put into making this deck and book. Every card has packed so much detail trying to convey the story but at the same time, to make them tie in with their meaning and with the opening of many possible interpretations.
There are stories from every continent, form every type of story, I don’t even have enough words on how exciting this is for me since it is gorgeous and perfect.
The theme for this box was a good one so I had hopes for this box and I have to say I was quite pleased. I had another box that did the same book and similar theme and prefer the items of this one a lot more. So what was inside? Let’s start on the far left and going clockwise:
A booksleeve, look it is gorgeous, very celestial and just gorgeous. It is discreet and yet elegant and perfect.
The pin of the month, I usually really like them and this is a nice one.
I thought the fact they sent push pins in a cute star jar all of them silver was a great thing and also I have my own cork board and this was a perfect little thing that will not only look nice on my desk but be super useful!
Theme card, the Owlcrate resident illustrator has a very particular style and I love it.
A tie down scarf, this is like the fancy silk scarf version and I love it, it is stunning and came super well presented.
A star pen. I felt like a magical girl with it and thought this was just a cute and perfect little thing (the only thing that’d make this better is if it was a fountain pen, I can gleefully imagine a book box including fountain pens and a little pot of ink and I would be super happy!)
An A6 (?) clipboard which also super useful for desk notes and very in theme.
Star Daughter which is the main book and this edition of the cover is stunning!
All in all the items matched the theme really well, made me feel like I was getting my life in order with powerful stationery and a power scarf and a great book. It isn’t a super “flashy” box and there’s not really any paper items which makes it a great one in my books as I don’t feel like my money was wasted or wasn’t worth it. Every item will be gleefully usef many times.
Any Illumicrate Collections box tends to be really good, so when they announced A Darker Shade of Magic being a box, I jumped at it and got it. And of course, as per usual, it was packed full of goodies (so much I struggled to fit it all on my usual table), so let’s see what it had starting at the bottom right and going clockwise:
Contents booklet, mostly it lists what each item is and who the artist/companies behind it are.
Underneath most of the goodies is a Four Londons blanket by Yoshi Yoshitani, which I like a lot (usually the blankets are gorgeous)
Then we have a booksleeve inspired by Lila’s and Kell “dance”, it’s a good size and slightly plastified so really nice. The artwork is by Laia Lopez and the quote typography design on the other side is by Chatty Nora.
Essen Tasch hanging poster, this makes me feel like I’ve been to it and got a memento poster to hang on my wall. Normally I am not crazy about posters but I somehow really like this one. Design by Sylvia Bi
On top are some acrylic figures of the characters and one of the author too, which I thought was a cute idea and they’ll look good on a shelf to decorate. Design by Monolime
There was also a set of dust jackets for all three books if you’re not that into the naked look. Those were hard to display as they had come rolled in to be protected but difficult to quickly lay flat (they’ll be flat after a few days under some books). Artwork by Rosie Thorns.
A pin of Lila’s mask designed by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt.
In the middle is a microfibre cloth to clean glasses and gadgets with a design by Victoria Ying.
And finally the hardcover book with a foiled naked cover, silver sprayed edges and front endpapers with artwork by Em Allen. It is gorgeous, honestly!
All in all it was a great box, the item I will probably love the least is the dust jackets because I am not normally fond of them in books and prefer naked covers. But they are still gorgeous. And of course all the contents are so well tailored for the trilogy that it is like magic!
A slightly moon themed box, as we know Book Box Club tends to be less “popular” books (not that they aren’t good books, but it is the kind of box I’d recommend buying for diverse and not hyped enough kind of books), but the content tends to be nice and you get the benefit of the Clubhouse, so let’s see the contents starting with theme card and going clockwise:
Theme card, they have a resident artist that works on making the theme card match both theme and book and they are always lovely.
A biscuit, this literally only lasted long enough to have the picture taken and then it was devoured by yours truly. I love that they send a gluten free biscuit so trying to make sure it is a nice experience for even more box recipients.
A quote pouch, I like them since they’re quite useful and like that they’re fabric.
A sampler for Cinderella is Dead
Promotional book mark for Daughter of Lies and Ruin.
A playlist and EP from The Bookshop Band. Look to me this was really cool because it means they’re looking at recommending things to go with the theme and the box and just more bookish items.
An eye (?) mask or some kind fo facemask.relaxation item with a space motif, which sounds intriguing and good for a relaxing day.
Moon Child stickers, they are beautifully themed and I was having a cute moment with them.
Clubhouse invite, this is a month or so after the box is delivered and you get to chat with the author alongisde other members. It’s really fun.
Door hanger to indicate you’re busy either reading or lseeping for both day and night usage. It is wooden and has gorgeous art on both sides.
And finally, the main book, Ghost Wood Song which I had been looking forward to reading and can’t wait to buddy read with friends.
One more thing I want to highlight is that Book Box Club have been super clear when they have had delays, and even then the delays have been minimal. They even managed to get a replacement book for a previous box when the publication date got moved and found a perfect replacement in a short span of time. I can highly recommend them as great customer care, great service and nice little perks.
The latest Illumicrate had a very scifi feel to it and the contents were as follows:
Seven Devils, just look at the gorgeous cover change!
A promotional bookmark for Sweet Black Waves.
Star Wars sunglasses (these were a bit meh, they feel like a filler item as they have nothing beyond a logo, and it’s not that amazing, plus I can’t use sunglasses).
A cute keyring, this will definitely be used soon.
Another book planter, probably my favourite of the set.
A Bone Season notebook.
And some character cards.
To be fair, this definitely wasn’t their strongest box, and I wish it had been but it seems to be common that they’re not as strong for Scifi boxes than they are in fantasy boxes. There’s a lot of fun that could’ve been done here, so hopefully the scifi side gets stronger.
I get YumeTwins on a one box at a time thing since I like their items lots but wasn’t using them as much so mostly only Ghibli themed boxes for me. This is their May/June box, but it was stuck in Japan for a while (they were super clear on like shipping updates and then when it was meant to arrived they chased and like the next day it was here, so good customer service). So, let’s see what was in this box:
A Totoro mini bag. This is SUPER cute and I am swooning over it.
The theme mini zine.
Ghibli postcard, there was a choice of different options (with YumtTwins boxes it’s always a mini roulette, so you have to be sure you’ll like most of the options offered because you don’t know which one you’ll get).
A Spirited Away file folder, which I have been using because it is plastified and so cool!
A bamboo toothbrush from My Neighbour Totoro.
And finally, stackable tupperware/bento boxes. I have two from a previous Ghibli box so I love stacking them and interchanging lids and boxes.
All in all, I am happy with the box, good things, and a good variety we can get, and yes, it was delayed but it did come and service was good. I shall await for another Ghibli box that tempts me or maybe some other fandom. If you like cute things and you are int Japanese fandoms, then this is a great box to get. They ship early, let you know the items and options, usually have a promotion option to get extra goodies, and if you stay subscribed you get points you can exchange for extra goodies.
This is the second Tales by Mail box and I have to say I am still enjoying them a lot. As mentioned before, this is from the same people behind Book Box Club and it is all about the middle grade love. So let’s see what was included in this box:
The activity worksheets. Usually they encourage you to write a short review and include some other fun things to do. If you got the starter pack then it fits neatly to go after the previous pack of activities.
A woodmark with the theme art.
Several promotional pins for Pizzaz and one for the theme card.
A cute pencil
And the two main books, Wonderscape and Sky Pirates
Both books look very interesting and I am looking forward to reading them. I am also happy that there’s not a lot in the box to clutter, just activities and great reads.
You have a date with destiny in the form of an unboxing!
Ok, maybe not, maybe you do? Let’s see what was int he box, starting from the top left and going clockwise:
Harry Potter mug. I think it is meant to be the last one and well, it is to my own tastes, not Cara’s best work. Not that it is bad, it just doesn’t compare to the others in the care put into making it and it kinda shows.
Simon’s Sour Cherry Scones tea blend, which I am intrigued to try, mostly because it has cherry and because Riddle’s Tea Shop is usually good at their blends.
The monthly pin, which looks interesting.
A bookmark with one side Rey, the other Kylo, so one light, one dark, it is quite clever.
An apron for The Raven Boys, which I like since it is a nice item, and it is big enough now that my husband steals my tiny one every now and then.
On top of the apron, trying to be artful, are a tin of arrow shaped paperclips, which have turned out to be super handy as somehow I never need paperclips and suddenly I do. Plus I have a soft spot for shaped paperclips.
The theme card, I tend to really enjoy the artowkr in those and this isn’t bad at all.
The main book, Goddess in the Machine which sounds intriguing, so much I started reading it after unboxing it, so so far so good and I like the colours of it!
As an overall feel, I like the contents of the box, not too much paper or “useless” items. There’s consumables and the papercips are useful beyond just looking cute. Kitchen items are usually good. And even if I am not keen on themug, there was someone who wanted it so it was easy to pass it on and not feel to bad about it (I do love that type of “camping” mug so just sad it wasn’t a design for me). It may not be their best box of the year but it is a strong box with a good assortment of items.
All about royalty surviving (?) and being around in this box. And one of the first things I noticed as I was resizing the picture is that there is a lot of paper items in it and I am not particularly fond of this. But let’s see what is what, starting from the theme card on the top left and going clockwise:
Theme card for Resilient Royals, the bookmark is also just underneath
A cardholder inspired by Queen’s Rising. I do like this as I love small cardholders over big purses and I am keeping it, just sad it doesn’t have more slots.
Shielded as the main book. I am torn betwene the green here or the original blue because both look so good!
A print for Bear and the Nightingale/Winternight trilogy.
Candle, I lit this one the other day and it is very pleasant and sweet (not sickly, just nicely sweet).
Crescent moon, I think SJ Maas inspired cushion cover. I am not bothered about this one, since I don’t have that many cushions and do not need that many covers.
A food tray (?). I would say it is more of a trinket tray but not the jewelry kind. I like this one quite a bit andit has been used a bit around the house, more than I expected!
Author letter with character art.
All in all, some good items, some not as good items. But the book was on my list of books I have wanted to read/order so all good. I do like that there’s new kind of items like the tray and the cardholder, but not that invested in repeats.
What are your favourite items? Is it because of the fandom or the usability/appeal of the item?
A bit delayed, but this was June’s Fairyloot box which had two books and a magical vibe to it with some darkness too (or at least that’s how it felt to me). Starting from the left and going to the right:
Print. I think something to do with Sarah J. Maas? (you can see how little I care for prints in general, sadly)
The main book, Forest of Souls. I am increidbly excited to read it since I heard about it, so definitely happy to have it.
Also included an early copy of The Gilded Ones which has also been high on my list so all good books!
A Shadows Between Us pin.
And a gorgeous Starless Sea patch. I am just sad it isn’t a sticker or something more useful than a patch because they just go in a box to be admired when I remember they exist. Why are book boxes obsessed with sending patches?
A teapot tea strainer. It is a bit small and doesn’t have a lot of space for the tea to swish around so as cute as it is, it feels a bit not fit for purpose.
A pair of socks for the Bone Season.
Tarot cards as per usual.
The theme card.
And an elemental set of coasters.
Sadly the biggest most exciting items for me where the books. The rest wasn’t as great or useful to me and it made me sad because it didn’t match the theme as well as I expected and also it just didn’t make me smile the way I hoped. But maybe it hit everybody else’s themes and fandoms? (I think part of the thing is that the books I love aren’t big fandoms, like for example Mexican Gothic and Gods of Jade and Shadow, or the Spellslinger series… )
Time to unbox a circus or at least performance based Owlcrate box for June! I particularly like the way the items seem to match each other for a good theme picture. Starting on the far left and going towards the right:
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. Apparently kinda Moulin Rouge type of book, peaked curiosity.
Chocolate Orange scented batch bomb which did not smell like chocolate orange even when I used it in the bath but it was nice.
Collectible pin related to the book, which I don’t know yet the meaning since I haven’t read it.
A weekly tracker, bullet journal style that is a pad with a lot of sunshine yellow. Not my thing but I like the idea.
A set of Shakespeare pencils, which aren’t all that fascinating since it’s just pencils with some writing on them. This is probably one of those items I wish book boxes would do less frequently. Maybe send us a really nice fountain pen, or at the very least some nice fineliners or something instead of pencils.
Bones Coffee, this is some of the best flavoured coffee I’ve ever had so I can’t wait to try this one out!
There were also some stickers for the book, which I left at the bottom of the box and rescued much later than the picture was taken.
And finally, a pencil/money tin, with a circus theme. I like it but I already have a money jar and well, no need for a pencil tin so alas not an item for me.
I have to say, this wasn’t their strongest box in my liking but I can see the appeal and the coffee makes me happy enough so at least there’s that. I do know some themes are not for me and this was probably not as good (which is funny since I do circus arts, so I should’ve been all over this box). Oh well!
Somehow I took the pictures for this and completely forgot to actually upload the unboxing, which is very sily of me. Oh well, le’ts unbox June’s Illumicrate which was all about hidden glamour (or at least that’s the vibe it gave me, who knows maybe I got it a bit wrong?).
Starting on the far left with the theme card:
In the Shadows theme booklet.
The main book is The Court of Miracles, the naked cover is stunning, and I am intrigued by the book but not a big fan of Les Mis, so we shall see if I like it.
An odd tea towel (the fabric and size were a bit different than usual) for Game of Thrones and Arya’s kill list.
A Sarah J. Maas foiled print, which I found an owner for it.
Villains series inspired mug which is stunning and I am so so pleased by it.
Collector’s pin, I am liking these more than the weird magnetic coins.
A fan with a quote from Nevernight (I liked the timing of getting a fan during the hot week in the UK, so this was very welcomed)
All in all it was a good box, quite fancy and I like the timing for some of the items. The mug is utterly stunning and I am happy for that.
June’s Book Box Club definitely felt like they took the condition of the world into stride and wanted to give us all a pick up, a lifeline saying “you can be courageous and kind” and that they care, so let’s see what was inside. Starting from the top right corner and going clockwise:
A cute banner with watercolour art, I generally do not keep banners or prints but this one immediately went on to the side of one of my bookcases. I guess it felt right for me…
Vegan rainbow sweets, I love it when sweets and treats are included in the box.
A patch/decal that says Courage Dear Heart and has a nice desing, it makes me think of a cool tattoo design or something.
The theme card, very vibrant and alive!
A tiny cute planter which I think is adorable (just be careful as it doesn’t have drainage holes)
And to top the tiny planter, some seeds. This is one thing I like in some book boxes, they add things that go together, like value add, in this case you don’t just get a planter, you get something to plant in it.
The main book which is The Short Knife. It wasn’t in my radar at all and it sounds quite interesting so looking forward to buddy reading it.
A print with a quote from the book.
All in all, this is a cute box and it lifted my mood and spirits plus was a gotcha in that the book was completely out of my radar and I love that.
Tales by Mail is a new book box subscription that happens bi monthly, has a podcast and is focused on 8-12 years old! The people behind it are the masterminds behind Book Box Club so of course I had to try this one and as is evident by my blog posts, I read Middle Grade and other children books so it felt right up my street.
This is the very first box of Tales by Mail and the theme was Mansion House Mysteries (makes me think of my own young self watching Scooby Doo!), and starting on the top right and going clockwise, let’s see what was included:
Not included in the box but can be bought separately is a binder to hold the pages of activities and “reviews” that get sent with each box. I decided to get it alongside the box as it felt more organised to myself that way and a simple way to collect them in a designated place.
A sampler of The Train to Impossible Places.
A tote bag for The Strangeworlds Travel Agency which I am super happy to find in the box.
Promotional bookmark for Tran to Impossible Places.
Mini notebook to write all the notes on mystery solving with the theme artwork on the front.
On top fo the books, are two pins, one makes you an official member of the Postal Express and the other has the theme art for the box.
The House to Hoarder Hill. This looks spooky like and I am super itnrigued.
Jack’s Secret Summer, which feels more like a fun adventure with a bit of mystery and no spooky (but I may be wrong)
The theme cards and activities, it has a couple fo pages for a review of each book but it also has activities and ideas so it’sa fun supplement!
As you can see it is jam packed with things to read and do and it’d be a good kickstarter for a childs’ creativity and adventures, so I was excited by it. There is also nothing in the box that I felt was just added for bulk, but instead it shows the focus of the subscription. Activities, fun little things that can be kept and lots of adventures to be. So far I can highly recommend it as a wonderful thing to get for children to enjoy and if you’re like me, for adults too.
As I mentioned on ym previous unboxing, there was another box doing Incendiary and I was curious to see what was included instead for items, so let’s see what Owlcrate did (also, the theme is different). Starting on Incendiary top left corner and going clockwise:
Incendiary, Owlcrate edition.
Stickers, whcih I usually enjoy becuase stickers are fun, bonus points if they are the kind you can unstick. The ones here are less exciting as they are quotes and I prefer more image stickers than quotes.
The collectible pin, I think it’ll make more sense once I read the book.
10 metal straws, in a cute pouch with cleaning brushes. 5 of them with a bend and 5 straight ones. I like this because it gives you enough straws to have around.
Witchy, which I have reviewed before but for a different press, and this cover is also gorgeous. Great choice.
The pouch for the straws.
Pot holders, probably the most boring one of the items since they are just quotes rather than something fun, but I like they’re brihgt as it makes them easier to find!
A gorgeous wooden magnet that immediately went on the fridge because it is so elegant and simple yet beautiful.
All in all I liked the contents of the box and was happy with it. I would’ve liked less quote items and more image ones but that’s more personal prefernece rather than thinking the items aren’t great.