Since I did a mini summary about Owlcrate, and I am eagerly waiting to receive the January Book Box Club box soon, I shall do another mini summary about them.
I bought their last first box back in September 2016 (?) and haven’t looked bad. They were the first ones to do a proper author chat and it was the one thing I loved the most. Nowadays I don’t join the chat so much, but it is thanks to them I found some of my good friends and reading buddies.
But let’s see what was in the December box, which was all about being cozy with our reads, starting on the theme card on the bottom right and going clockwise:
Theme Card. Cute fits the theme.
A proof book, for me it was Are You Watching? which I already have a proof copy for, but still, extra book.
The main book, Dangerous Alliance which is very pink and apparently Jane Austen-ish… I am a bit unsure what to expect.
White chocolate and & Raspberry bar, which fits nicely with being cosy. Yum!
A Christmas wishes card from the girls and the new four paw addition.
A gorgeous beanie hat, it is a deep green that for some reason looks very black in videos and pictures. It is warm and comfortable and cute. win all around.
A pin to match the book.
The 2020 artwork calendar I’ve come to expect from them, and it is gorgeous! A great way of discovering new artists.
A woodmark, with the most gorgeous art ever that it put aside my woddmark dislike (plus it is a little more sturdy but not that much thicker than the usual ones in other boxes, so far better).
All in all, a very cosy box to be enjoyed and I am looking forward to the treat of two books in the January box too!
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.
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.
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.
I really wanted the book in this box, so it was a great excuse to give it a try. It comes from the US, so I got hit by customs. The actual tax wasn’t bad but the fee was many times the actual tax, so not pleased (but it is not their fault). So starting from the bottom left theme card and going clockwise:
Theme card. This shows you the theme for the next month and MOST of the card actually talks about the next month. There’s a TINY part of it that actually says what the items are (and mine only said 2 out of them all). Fox & Wit insisted this was how they do it, but it is extremely confusing and panic inducing, and I have no clue about the mug, or much about the book or anything. This part I rate badly. I have tried over 30 different book boxes, none do this weird thing.
One of the things I did like is you can choose certain items to be “personalised” or at least, specific, for example, my zodiac is Cancer so I got a Cancer necklace instead of just random which I think is brilliant! Kudos on that part.
A pin, which I love the idea of, the execution is not too good (I’ve made pins, I made this mistake too, I get it) because the text is too small and not enough spacing to show well. Easy fix but sadly quality control didn’t fix it first.
The actual book, awesome, comes with a bookplate and author letter. Really pleased, and it came wrapped individually and all good.
A mug for “Air France” with constellations. Theme card said NOTHING about it, so no clue about fandom, or why or anything. It’s cool but I am just left with a lot of questions.
A set of bookmarks, one per Zodiac sign.For some random reason the Cancer one fell out as I was leafing through it, so it feels like fate. They’re cute.
All in all, I see potential in the box and good things, but that theme card really needs some hard work on how it is presented and delivered. And definitely need more data if tyou’re making the effort already to include one. Customs is another sad part, but that’s not fully their fault. All in all, good if you’re in the US and don’t mind confusion and not knowing what half of the stuff you’ve got is. I may still get some if the book is one I don’t have and no one else is doing and I have extra money but otherwise not for me.
This is a punch of blue! Definitely matches the theme, so let’s unbox it as it had a naked hardcover. Starting on the bottom right corner and going clockwise:
Night Circus Ticket keyring, I love the concept, but it is freaking heavy so I won’t be using it, which is very sad. It weights so much I don’t really want that on my keys or anything. Sad, so very sad because it is gorgeous!
Magnetic coin, as you know by now, I don’t really care about them and to me they’re pretty much useless and meh.
Narnia wardrobe wooden pin, this is very cute and I like it.
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern. I haven’t read it yet, I am curious as I enjoyed the Night Circus.
I had a sword bookmark, matching the book but apparently there were three different designs. (Downside is how flimsy it is).
The Naked book, it is pretty but it’s just that, nothing special for me.
Key necklace, inspired by the Archived.
My favourite item, a booksleeve with a Hogwarts theme, the sleeve is sturdy and beautiful.
Book ceramic pot. I am still unsure what to do with them. If I was good at plants, I’d fill them with cute plants but I mostly kill them so they’re wasting space at home. Sad. But gorgeous.
So I wasn’t particularly impressed with this box. There aren’t many “doors” in the things included. As much as Harry Potter is nice, I have a lot of booksleeves in tones of pink/purple of Hogwarts in some way or another (why is it so popular in those tones?!) so I am a bit tired of that particular item, not that I dislike booksleeves. Be original, there’s a LOT of fandoms to choose from other than Harry Potter.
I liked the key and sword matching the book but I won’t use either (“golden” anything jewelry is a potential not good for me so I tend to avoid and not wear) and the pot is just space taken. So I have a pin, a book and a book sleeve and it feels not very worth the price if that is all I keep. It is sad, because I have loved Illumicrate since the very first box I had from them back when they sent Nevernight hardcover and had no themes and always had a proof in the box (I LOVED discovering new books with those proofs and really really miss them) and a lot more unique items and less worry about “collections of things that won’t be used”.
So veredict, I liked the box, miss the old Illumicrate boxes and don’t feel very much a good value for money with this particular box. Let’s see what December brings!
A well themed box with a book I wanted to read (it is so gorgeous!), so let’s go unboxing, starting on the theme card and going clockwise:
Theme Card, definitely matches book and thene.
Whale notebook, I like notebooks and the artwork is gorgeous
Socks, mermaid socks! I am a happy human and they’re cute.
Two publisher’s frebies
Clubhouse invite for a chat with the author
Octopus pin, this is very detailed and cute.
Another promo item
Dangers of the Deep Shampoo Bar. This caused a great conversation about them at work and I raved on how good they are, so I am looking forward to using it and think it is great we get alternative care items beyond lip balms and creams and scrubs. Love it!
A sturdy coaster, this is a really good one!
Deeplight by Frances Hardinge. It is a super gorgeous book and I can’t wait to read.
A signed map, since Waterstones had the exclusive rights to signed books so we get a signature on the map. A good way to get away with a signature, clever and crafty!
All in all, a box very well themed that gives an ocean and deep sea vibe and I can’t wait to start reading the book today with our reading group.
Time to do an unboxing for October’s Illumicrate. As you know I was part of the blog tour for Angel Mage, so this book was no surprise to me, however the red edges were and the rest of the items. So let’s unbox starting from the book and going clockwise:
Angel Mage by Garth Nix. This book is like the 3 musketeers became very magical religious. I liked it a lot more than I expected to.
Shatter Me Magnetic bookmark set. I am not really keep on magnetic bookmarks, as they either break from the top joint or I have damaged pages trying to take them off, they are cute but won’t be keeping them.
Dreamers Pouch. I tend to like pouches specially if they are sturdy and nicely sized for travelling or taking some kind of supplies (I have one that came in a book box I use for my “quick drawing” supplies for example).
Abhorsen Bells Pin. This is fully inspired by the book, and I loved it. I had been looking into getting one of those pins to hold blankets/shawls/thingies together that look pretty and then I got the box and it was awesome!
Villains character card set, which I loved and quickly started describing each character (they are from Vengeful and Vicious by V. E. Schwab) to my colleagues when I unboxed it.
A tea tin, another unusual item and I have already filled it up with tea bags (but I also use them for loose leaf tea) Loved it.
I also somehow skipped the metallic magnetic coin which this time was Aelin, but not bothered by it.
All in all, it was a quirky box with two out of the ordinary items I really enjoyed, which made it nice rather than just okay. Can’t wait for this month’s box!