Moon Hauls: Written in the Stars Owlcrate

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.

Moon Hauls: Date with Destiny Owlcrate

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 the World’s a Stage Owlcrate Unboxing

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.
  • Authors Letter
  • 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!

Rebels with a Cause Owlcrate Unboxing

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.
  • Theme card.
  • 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.

Full Moon Magic Owlcrate Unboxing

Another moon themed box and now from Owlcrate, which meant a lot of excitement from me as I love moon themed boxes and I was curious to see what was inside this one. Starting from the theme card in the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Theme card. I generally love the artwork in their theme cards and this is gorgeous.
  • The monthly pin which is an owl and moon phases, stunning.
  • A crescent moon bracelet in rose gold, which is probably not my favourite tone of jewelry but it is a nice bracelet.
  • Bone Crier’s Moon, with their exclusive cover version. I have to say that usually I love their exclusive covers loads but this one is just a bit more close up and blue so I ended up preferring the original one (not that this isn’t good, just not as good?) It also has golden sprayed edges.
  • A cute moon pouch (another item was inside it)
  • Oscar Wilde moon quote notebook. I like the artwork but what bugs me is that it is the same quote Fairyloot used in their moon themed box. There MUST be other wonderful quotes about the moon and magic and life to use rather than the same one used by others (I have this issue with just getting the same quotes over and over about the same topic, when there is so much to use and choose from and we fall into exactly the same ones over and over).
  • I squealed a tiny bit with the Moony puzzle because it is awesome and I love puzzles!
  • Wooden moon phases garland/bunting. Vixy loved it and so do it. It is gorgeous and was what was inside the little moon pouch.
  • A moon totebag.

All in all I really enjoyed the contents of the box, the only thing I wasn’t super keen was the quote choice but that is a relatively minor issue and more that it bothers me in general rather than exclusively about Owlcrate. And it definitely felt like a wonderful moon magic box.

Music of the Night Owlcrate Unboxing

The one thing I have to say about Owlcrate boxes so far is that they’re definitely making the effort to try ot be unique and have some special value item (either by the art and effort, or the item type). So let’s see what this one had, starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • The theme card, I like the style so it was fitting for the theme.
  • Owlcrate socks, we all know I usually like socks if they’re soft and comfy and these are. And they are to celebrate Owlcrate’s anniversary 🙂
  • A Phantom of the Opera poster which was interesting to receive and I had to pile everything on it to keep it flat but really appreciated the fact it came rolled up and protected to avoid damage.
  • A mini portable speaker, which is the fun interesting item here and I was surprised and happy to see it in the box.
  • Ex libris cards with an owl and books, can’t complain at all.
  • A wooden plate in relief(it’s kinda carved?) with a quote from V. E. Schwab and the Monsters of Verity series.
  • A lip scrub which is probably the least interesting item for me and that I may not use.
  • Goblin Grove candle, it smells delicious.
  • The theme pin which is a great match to the featured read.
  • The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu. I am very curious and it is gorgeous so hoping it is a good book as it looks interesting.

As it tends to be, this was a great box once again and I was happy with the contents so it feels like good value for money.

A Power Within Owlcrate Unboxing

So far, Owlcrate has been the overall favourite in the office and it is not hard to see why. They seem to have the most interesting items and feel like quality plus less “you only get it if you like the fandom” and more “even if you’re into the the fandom, you’ll enjoy this item” which helps attract people to the box (they love it at work). So what did this box include?

Starting from the top left corner and going clockwise:

  • Chain of Gold sampler. Don’t care much about it, but sure others did.
  • Throne of Glass playing cards. I am very much a “do not want this item if it is SJM inspired”, but I swooned for the deck here. The cards are more hard plastic than card stock, a gorgoeus purple with a stunning gold design and they feel amazing when you shuffle them. The artwork is an added bonus which is gorgeous (even if I have no clue who they are).
  • The monthly pin just underneath the card box, probably not the best one but not bad.
  • Ok, this for me was the best item in the box. A bento box with cutlery set and space for it. Look at it. It has the clips on the side to ensure it closes, it is just SO good and a cute light green. Oh, and the symbols are from Mistborn series and all the metal allomancies, which is extra bonus.
  • Another unusual item and I am so happy to have it, a glasses cleaning cloth. With stunning artwork and it came in a cute pouch and I was like “heck yeah, one to keep”.
  • The Magicians inspired keyring. It is fun and has gone into my collection.
  • Metallic bookmark ruler stencil thing that is just a wonderful little gadget to have insire a book for an artist or ruler seeking fiend like me.
  • The theme card with a gorgoeus lilar background I was just happy with (the whole thing is great)
  • Finally, the book. All the Stars and Teeth which I don’t much about but I like the cover and I am intrigued to read it, so we shall see how that goes.

All in all, it had a few new items I haven’t seen in other boxes and that Bento box fully blew me away. It was a stunning box and it is still the favourite overall (some people preferred February’s Fairyloot box over this one in the office, but most thought the Bento was too good).

The Guinevere Deception Review

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Rating: MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px MoonKestrel Logo2 20px Grey

This book was one that came in Tales of Trickery Owlcrate, and a few of us decided to buddy read it. Now, from previous reading of the author’s books, I was a bit unsure if I’d like it as I haven’t really clicked much with her books. But this is a book about Guinevere, and Arthurian legend which automatically makes me want to give it a chance (which I did).

Guinevere is one of those “naive, don’t know much about the world and the reader discovers through my eyes”. This kinda works but at the same time it doesn’t. Maybe because I’ve read other books about King Arthur and watched Merlin and all that, that the whole “oh, discover the world” wasn’t as intriguing and got old relatively fast. But it did help see the interpretation of the Arthurian world int he book, and how magic is banned and there’s some magic supporters but it is a tough decision for Arthur and he’s sticking by it.

Now, we know little of Guinevere except that she isn’t actually her and has another name she has to forget (mild spoiler alert: we never really find out her name, she conveniently forgets it, somehow, which really put me off because it is solely for the purpose fo making you read the next book). And she knows magic and is being married of to Arthur so she can protect him and make sure everything is fine. I found the concept of the whole she isn’t who she is, and the “is magic good or should it be banned, but there’s bad magic?” intriguing.

However, this quickly became a guide to “knot magic” without actually even telling you how to do the know magic. What do I mean by this? Her magic is knots, and she makes them for everything. So every few pages, she decides she needs magic to protect Arthur or set a warning or some odd thing and goes on about needing knots and how the knot makes magic but it isn’t like Merlin’s magic. And it gets old fast as there is nothing new there except what we already know from fae lore and from Arthurian legend.

In general, the book feels like it dragged to try to make a full book just to sell more books into the story. Some fo the twists on characters were refreshing and made me like the book, but it just felt like it dragged and some of the twists felt like they went against everything and were plot characters rather than actual fleshed out characters and solely relied on you being familiar with Arthurian legend (or maybe not so you don’t care) to fill in the gaps.

All in all, I just really wish this had been a duology or a better fleshed book. There’s not enoguh of the magic explained, and just barely anything explained to move the plot forward much except sending Arthur on adventures to keep him busy so Guinevere can do more knots (I ended up rolling my eyes at this all after a while), and getting cryptic chapters to fill int he gaps with more useful information (that only really gets useful closer to the middle-end).

Not sure if I will buy the next one or read it. Depends on if someone thinks it is great and redeems the story.

Vengenace Will Be Mine Owlcrate Unboxing

First box of the year, and it is still doing quite well, even if it wasn’t the best box of the month (Moon & Stars Fairyloot really took them all by a lot, but as I said in that review, it is obvious they really wanted to do that box), so let’s see what the contents were, starting on the theme card on the far right and going clockwise:

  • Theme card, I liked the simple artwork as it does great with negative space.
  • Mug, it is for HP5 and I am slowly trying to collect them. In general mugs win specially with this shape or a gorgeous artwork and this one has both of those things.
  • Monthly pin, probably not my favourite but this is the only monthly collectible item I am actually happy with as a concepy even if I am not always utterly in love with the pin, in general they are stunning.
  • A pill keeper (there’s a better term for this, I am sure), it even has a mirror (why do they come with a mirror?) and it is an interesting useful item to have in a book box, plus it is discreet but bookish.
  • Candle, with an interesting scent, I think burning it will smell different than what it does at first opening, it is subtle and I am curious.
  • Map from Lord of the Rings, probably my least favourite item from the box since I am not generally into hanging things and this type of banners, but it is still cool.
  • Crooked Kingdom socks! I love socks in boxes spceially when they are good quality soft ones with gorgeous designs.
  • And finally, the book, Scavenge the Stars. The cover change was a bit odd, but I still like it, not sure which one is my favoruite to be fair.

All in all it wa a good box, maybe not their best, but usually if the box has a mug, that’s the “star” item and the rest are just there to help it along and despite it, it didn’t feel too bad for having a mug in it. Looking forward to the next box!

Tales of Trickery Owlcrate Unboxing

Since it is almost the time when book boxes start shipping for January, let’s do some unboxings of the ones that came through in December. For today, it is Owlcrate. I’ve been getting them on and off. My first Owlcrate was I think their 4th box of them all, way back in 2015 (if I remember correctly), and I kept it going for quite a while until it was the same items with just a little difference. I stopped and then restarted it recently as the quality went up again.

So let’s unbox this one, starting with the book in the bottom left:

  • The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White. It was highly hinted this would be the book for December, and I am glad. Even though blue is one of my favourite colours, the green cover version they gave us is stunning. Underneath it has emerald foiling and white hardcovers.
  • Mount Ruin candle. It smells delicious and warm and cosy (maybe not actually like doom, but I am okay with that).
  • A book sleeve with a quote from Sorcery of Thorns. It is a good size, which is something I like (my favourite so far was one that has a front pocket and a popper button on the top so it is extra secure plus can add other things up front.
  • Theme card.
  • A set of colouring pencils that are meant to accompany the next item…
  • A colouring book of all the yearly pin designs that have been included in Owlcrate. I thought this was an awesome idea and a way of making the most of the amazing designs. Not only as a pin but bonus colouring book!
  • A hand warmer, based on Sky in the Deep. This was great to receive because I had been raving about them in the office and when I unboxed it, I could show it to my colleagues easily.
  • Earmuffs. A win for me since they are relatively portable and cute and comfortable. And a unique item.
  • The pin of the month.

In general I liked this box, it is very well coordinated in colour and even though not all items feel like Tales of Trickery, they do give me a cooridnated vibe and I like it.

Through the Enchanted Forest Owlcrate Unboxing

Returning slowly from the hiatus that being ill caused (no energy to write or schedule or anything), with November’s Owlcrate. It was definitely a whimsical type of box, so starting from the book on the bottom left and going clockwise:

  • Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw. I LOVE this version of the cover, it gives me a much more wintery feel than the original.
  • The “star” of the box, a blanket licensed by Holly Black. I like the artwork and colours. I just wish the blankets in book boxes were a bit bigger (but it isn’t a specifically Owlcrate, any box that does).
  • A moth pin, also gorgeous.
  • A Reading Planner. Gosh I find this stunning and each year it is better but I am TERRIBLE at any kind of tracking/planning (I am a mood reader and very much a “this book is kinda coming out soon let’s read the proof”) for anything. Can’t keep a journal, can’t do even daily or weekly planners, they just don’t stick and I feel so sad about that because this is stunning and the best.
  • A wooden ornament. This is going on my Christmas tree. It is pretty, elegant and just nice.
  • Gorgeous stickers. I need more stickers that are cute and matching the theme in my life.
  • Metallic bookmark. Wasn’t terribly impressed with the design but like the metallic part of it.
  • Theme card. It is so pretty.
  • And quote print thing. As you all should know, I am not generally a “print” anything, and quotes are nice but I am not fussed unless it is something that was special to me and I doubt that’d go for everyone.

All in all it matches the theme, had gorgeous items and a wonderful cover. No complaints here.

Dawn of a New World Owlcrate Unboxing

A very late unbpxing of October’s Owlcrate (I did open it a while ago, but forgot to post about it, woops). It had two books and an item that as soon as I saw it and others too it was a comment of “it is perfect for me/you”. So let’s unbox, starting from the top left and going clockwise:

  • Crier’s War by Nina Varela. Androids and humans in an interesting world, so excited to read it!
  • An Illuminae book tin, each side has a quote from one of the books. It is dark and intriguing and a bit cryptic and I like it.
  • I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Bishi, the world is ending and I am not sure about this book but intrigued!
  • A Warcross inspired sticker, it is very holographic and I like it.
  • Magnetic bookmarks, probably the item I was the least excited about since I like the arts but do not particularly like the item.
  • Theme card.
  • The pin of the month, wasn’t my favourite but its kinda retro and cute.
  • Finally, the item I loved the most, a moon necklace with circuitry. It is inspired by the Lunar Chronicles which I haven’t read and not bothered but absolutely fell in love with the charm and necklace. It is amazing.

Fear the night Owlcrate Unboxing

For some reason, Owlcrate does their “spooky” box in September (not that I am complaining because then my unboxing post can happen in October!) and this was a good spooky box.

Starting from the top left with the book and going clockwise:

  • The Bone Houses, and an “inverted” cover for the black background to white and the white lettering to black. Still gorgeous, very excited about the book!
  • A Penguin Classic Horror (The Haunting of Hill House), I was never going to love this one as I am not a horror person but someone will so no biggie. Plus it is an extra book.
  • A spooky print which I liked it.
  • The monthly pin inspired by the book.
  • Theme zine
  • Skeleton fingerless gloves. I love that they are very long, my dog chewed up the last pair from a previous Owlcrate, so this was perfect timing (and they are being kept well out of the reach of the dog).
  • Coffee. My biggest issue is the coffee label has little to no information. I still think it could easily have a label with details on the back (as this is obviously blended/flavoured coffee, good for allergens, etc). But I like coffee, so not bad and this one smells real good.
  • A sampler of The Beautiful, not intersted at all but cool.
  • Theme card, I like the artwork.
  • A trinket dish which is very pretty but I already have two that I am using and have no need for more (otherwise I would keep it, it is nice).

All in all a well packed box with lots of nice interesting useful things and lots of spooky in it but not too much (at least in my taste).

Storms and Seas Owlcrate Unboxing

A dark and stormy box with a nice blue theme (I like blue). And it was probably not as good as other boxes for me, but it was interesting. Let’s see what was in it, from left and going clockwise.

  • House of Salt and Sorrows, inspired by the twelve dancing princesses, so I am very curious.
  • Theme card, with a melancholic picture.
  • A tea light lantern. I find it cute but will probably never use it sadly.
  • The Little Mermaid inspired bath salts, looking forward to using it.
  • The monthly collectible pin, which is nice.
  • An exclusive bookmark to match the book (it is gorgeous)
  • Anothe bookmark, but wooden. It is very nice but it is too thick to really use inside a book which is a shame. I have to say, wooden bookmarks in general are not my thing, they are either too flimsy and feel like they’ll easily break or are too thick and can’t be used nicely.
  • Sea Witch tea, which I am curious to try, we shall see, but I like it is a relatively small satchet so if I don’t like it it will be fine (though I doubt that)
  • A pencil tin case, cute but I don’t use them, so a bit sad, but it is very pretty.

In general it had a lot of really nice things but most of them just aren’t the type of objects I’d use or enjoy. I can appreciate that they are nice and look good but alas it isn’t a good value this time.

Tournaments & Trials Owlcrate Unboxing

I was eagerly awaiting this box and I am glad to have got it (and it made me decide to change form a monthly subscription to a 6 month one, since I have enjoyed most of the recent past Owlcrate boxes). So let’s unbox this one, starting from the book and going clockwise:

  • Spin the Dawn, this time the exclusive cover is a very subtle change (from silver title to gold) which I am glad for, as this is a gorgeous cover.
  • A jigswa puzzle in a carry pouch (300 pcs). This one made me super happy as I love jigsaws and it was in a handy pouch rather than a big box.
  • Theme card.
  • The collective pin to match the book, very gorgeous too.
  • A Cara Kozik mug for HP4, gorgeous as usual.
  • Playing cards set with each deck changed into one of the Londons from A Darker Shade of Magic. Love this idea.
  • A cute money purse, zippered.
  • Kingdom of souls promotional postcard.
  • The Selection inspired lankyard. I am not into this fanodm but I love the fact that this lankyard is perfect even if you don’t do the fandom and it is pretty neutral.
  • The print that is the puzzle which is a quote print too. Wow, that felt convoluted.

All in all full of gorgeous details and items, so very happy with this box.