My very first Illumicrate box included this hardcover book with a crow and a red sun on the cover (sound familiar?). So it wasn’t any surprise that when they announced they w0uld be doing a special edition for Darkdawn, I had to have it (plus they special editions boxes are stunning!).
As you can see above, Nevernight wan’t the only book and it didn’t have an author letter like The Graces did. Nevernight was the “afterthought”, the second book, rather than the main one. Back then the boxes weren’t themed either and it was way more of a surprise what you could get…
But back to the main thing, the Darkdawn box. Because we’ve come to the end of the trilogy.
Look at that, I have a slightly better idea what I am doing with an unboxing, and this time the blanket underneath is not one I made myself, but part of the box. Oh how time goes by! Let’s unbox this, starting from the top left corner and going clockwise:
Underneath everything, a Mr Kindly and Eclipse blanket. It is the softest thing ever and I love it!
Nevernight Short-Form Series Extras, a kind of script and sneak peek book for what Piera Forde has been doing on trying to adapt it to “film”.
A wooden map of Itreya. I don’t know what I will use it for, but I really like it.
Mr Kindly bath bomb by Geeky Clean. This smells gorgeous and I am looking forward to using it in my bath.
A gorgeous mug called “Goodnight Kiss”, but spoilers, so yeah…
Darkdawn book, with yellow edges (like the Italian edition if I got it right). (Sadly I prefer the dark edges, but I think part of it is I am not a fan of yellow).
On top of it, a Mia magnetic coin.
A print of Mia and Trik (same artwork as the script thing extra stuff)
Three, the extra content/deleted scene.
Character bookmarks that are double sided.
Foil (it is super extra stunning) Hard at work print of Mia.
A gorgeous book sleeve with two different sides, A Story to Tell.
Mia “Funko Pop” style figurine.
Two amazing pins by Fable and Black. I was blown away by them!
Finally, close to the mug, the Corvere crest as a necklace.
All in all, a very full box with lots of stunning items! Illumicrate did an amazing job and I am glad I bought that first box with Nevernight way back when (I have been subscribed to them since then…)
I was very excited about the theme of this box and I liked the contents, so let’s see what was in it. Starting from the book on the left and going clockwise:
Gideon the Ninth, necromancy, space, what else do you need?
Sister Apple inspired liquid soap. I am fond of liquid soaps as they work great as shaving creams (as they’re fancy ones and usually handmade or at least, small business made).
Weapons bag, which is the perfect Illumicrate colour. The size is wonderful for a summer day when a jacket is too much but I still want to carry minimal stuff and at the moment I only have one suitable small bag, so this is a great thing to find in the box (the only thing that would make it better is if it was black)
The collectible coin, it’s Lila Bard, but still not convinced on the coins.
Above there’s a promotional map.
A gorgeous mug designed by Rosie, it is not enamel but ceramic but it is gorgeous. A happy Moon here.
A Scythe for opening bottles (it is nicely heavy and SO gorgeous).
A Cutlery set which made me very very happy and is now at work on my desk. Plus it came with a metal straw. Really really happy with this part.
The theme booklet.
Gideon the Ninth trading cards (though there weren’t nine of them in it, wonder if the why is in the book which I haven’t read).
As you can see, there’s very little I didn’t really like (moslty the coin) so this was a great box for me and quite handy. I loved the cutlery set and bottle opener but all of it was nice to get. Looking forward to the September box! ❤
I mean with a theme like that, hard to resist, right? (Also, sorry this is a boring picture, I was between puzzles decorating my table so didn’t have a “background” except the actual table. Woops) And I have to say it was definitely worth it. Let’s do the unboxing from top left corner and going clockwise:
Theme card and zine. I generally enjoy the artwork and this isn’t the exception.
Key shaped gel pen. It is a gorgeous blue key, and it is a pen, and even better, it is a gel pen (the only thing that could top up this is if it was a fountain pen!)
Underneath it is a tote bag inspired by Strange the Dreamer. I like the bag it has a more “bottom” shaped design which made it a bit more useful for carrying stuff as it keesp shape nicely.
Book Beau coffee. This smells good but I am frustrated to no end as there are NO instructions on it, or anything that says how fine the coffee has been grinded, or literally anything useful (is it just coffee? does it have some spices grinded into it? Who knows?!). I even tried searching Book Beau’s site and she has zero info about the coffee, not even ifn their FAQ.
Metal bookends which are Narnia themed (and it was easy to see that and they are freaking gorgeous!)
The collectible pin. I have to say the pins have only gotten better each box. And this one is utterly gorgeous
Gorgeous coasters. I love the style of them, they feel vintage but not tacky or what everyone else has, they’re unique.
Sorcery of Thorns sticker.
The book, I like this cover and I like the original and I am looking forward to reading the book.
All in all, a very strong box from Owlcrate, I am quite pleased except for the whole coffee without ANY useful information on it (please, if you’re senidng coffee, hot chocolate, tea, have a list of ingredients, some helpful info!). The rest of it is gorgeous and dreamy and fits the theme perfectly.
First proper monthly Illumicrate. I have liked their quarterly boxes (and their special editions) for too long to not give this a go. So here we go. Startin from the theme card on the far right bottom corner and going clockwise:
Theme booklet. ~I like that you have to open it to see what is in the box, so you don’t spoil yourself accidentally.
LOTR pins. That Eye of Sauron, is so beautifully detailed!
The red and blue notebooks aren’t together but they’re meant to be a set of them inspired by The Raven Cycle (interesting that also Book Box Club box had something to do with this fandom, however, totally different items and both gorgeous).
Excalibur water bottle, which came at a good time as I have resolved to drink more water at work, so this one is now on my desk.
Muse of Nightmares postcard
Mistborn socks. I have a soft spot for socks, and this pair is discreet enough but also gorgeous, so win.
The Grand Tour mug rug, I have used it as a “teapot” rug instead and a “cooking pot” one too, and it is great at that. I had no clue what fandom it was at a glance and Grand Tour to me means cars and Amazon Prime show, so I knew I had it wrong. It is from The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue and their tour (I wasn’t into this series, so yeah, wouldn’t have guessed).
Once & Future, the book and a “card” with the author letter. The book ahs gorgeous teal sprayed edges and I was smitten immediately!
Do you dream of Terra Two? sampler. (Interesting but doesn’t feel like my thing…)
So overall, I liked this box. It felt a little more hodgepodge than the usual quarterly boxes but I am hoping this gets better as they make more monthly ones and figure out how to make it work.
Dream Teams is a great theme for a book box! I was all on board with this one and I was pleased with it. Now let’s go around the unboxing, starting on the theme card, and going clockwise:
Dream Teams theme card.
Stolen Time, I haven’t heard of this one so unsure how it will pan out, but usually their books push me out of my comfort zone of reading.
A publisher’s promotional bookmark
Underneath, there’s a cushion cover inspired by The Raven Boys (I am not crazy fan but I do love this cushion cover, it is gorgeous and I am now using it on my sofa).
Parabatai Oath candle, it has glitter and smells delicious so good one.
Unashamedly Bookish keyring, this is perfect for me and I love it so much!
221B Bath Bar, I love Ascent products and this one doesn’t miss the mark (I discovered them thanks to a book box, can’t remember which one), it is divine and I am eager to use it.
Six of Crows print, I am not a Grisha fan but the print is delightful.
The invite to the Clubhouse meeting to discuss the book.
That’s all, I did like ti quite a bit and the only thing I wasn’t that keen into is the print, but I don’t really go crazy for prints anyway. The rest of the items will be well usede (and that keyring will get a lot of love).
I broke my “no more Fairyloot” ban because who can resist dragons, right? But somehow, despite it being a nice box, I didn’t feel like it was as great as could be. Let’s have a look at the items, starting fromt he left and going towards the right:
Theme postcard, this one I liked, but we already knew what the artwork was going to be.
Fire & Heistby Sarah Beth Durst. I had this one on my list of preorders so definite win here.
A Reading Journal, this one is less fancy than the one in Owlcrate, so even less excited about it than I was by Owlcrate’s. I already use Goodreads and blog about what I read. And I’ve never been good at keeping journals and sticking to it.
The Storm Crow ARC. My favourite item of this box, because I really want to read this book and it was great to get a proof so early for it!
A Gringotts Escape Dragon book sleeve. The artwork is nice, but the sleeve is bulky and not as good as most of the ones I already have (I understand that mass produced sleeves can’t compare to handmade ones, but I prefer the handmade ones much more). This is one of those items I am not keeping.
At the top, is a hidden “pin banner”, which is literally a piece of fabric on a stick. Mine came loose from the stick so I had to reattach it and I saw it and just went “why did you include this?!” Single banners are a bit meh already, but this one doesn’t even have any print or something on it. You could’ve added a title of “my pin/badge collection” or “bookdragon treasures/shinies” and make it a lot more attractive. This felt like a cheap item just added to pad up the box.
First two cards of their trading cards, I think they’re tarot based. And they’re quite big and heavy.
Double sided print with Toothless and Manon (why do you do double sided prints? It means I have to choose one side to display and the other to damage with whatever I use to glue/stick it to whatever way I display it?).
Second favourite item, a glow in the dark dragon necklace (it glows in the dark, the child in me loves this part of it and has extra points). This is also the most “dragon” item of the box.
So, half of the items or more are things I didn’t like, which means I had made the right choice to not buy more Fairyloot boxes because I wasn’t happy with the items. (I know other people may like them, but because I subscribe and try so many book boxes, I am picky with the ones I stick to).
I also felt it wasn’t as full of dragons as it could’ve been. Toothless was fun but maybe it’d be great for it to not just be a print (plus an item was missing!). I just wish the box would include a lot less paper items, and focus to keep the theme really into theme. The focus on big items is also making the rest of the box pay for it, which is kind sad.