Book Review

Moon Reads: Horizon Zero Dawn The Sunhawk

Horizon Zero Dawn – The Sunhawk by Anne Toole, Ann Maulina, Bryan Valenza and Jim Campbell

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Ok, when I found out that there was a Horizon Zero Dawn comic, I preordered the hell out of it. So much I have all individual issues in at least 3 different versions of the cover, plus this one and the Forbidden Planet edition of the full volume. I genuinely love the game and have played it many times, so this was a natural add on to my shelves.

But what about the actual story?

It is very exciting and makes me want the Forbidden West game to come out today or as soon as I started reading the comics. I fully appreciate getting a comic while we wait which like an appetiser of what is to come.

Mostly it is a story about Talanah going on a mission/quest to hunt a new machine that looks dangerous and the slight scrapes and adventures she gets into. We also meet a few other characters that I suspect will show in-game and I can’t wait to play it! It is also nice to see a comic and the drawings of the machines and the adventures plus new areas. And it makes me want to draw some fanart and replay the main game. You definitely get less Aloy in it but I liked the focus on Talanah and how she’s faring being the Sunhawk of the Hunter’s Lodge, since the game will still focus on Aloy.

Overall, I recommend it for fans of the game and series and if you can’t wait to play the second game, you should totally read this.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Legends and Lore Owlcrate

I am slowly catching up with my backlog of book boxes and here is the Owlcrate for October with the theme of Legends and Lore, which I liked quite a bit. Starting from the bottom left and going clockwise, the contents were:

  • We Free the Stars sampler. Since they had We Hunt The Flame in a previous box this makes loads of sense and I am curious.
  • Legendborm, which I am quite excited to read as it looks interesting.
  • Theme card, as per usual, I like the style of it.
  • Solstasia Festival plant based soap, which I highly appreciate that they chose a plant based soap and that they included soap because I like having fancy soaps in book boxes, it means I don’t have to buy new ones.
  • This is probably my favourite understated item, a glass file in a case. For starters, my husband has stolen it as it has a case and it is discreet and super good as a nail file. So as much as it is a small item, its probably the one that will get the MOST use.
  • A pot holder cosy thing, I don’t know hot to describe it properly, but I like it as it is meant to go on the bottom of the pot/bowl/hot round item and also the print is awesome.
  • A celestial wind chime which I didn’t spread out as I was avoiding damaging it before I hang it (I still need to find a spot for it but I am on the hunt)
  • A tablet/phone stand. I like how easy they are to set up and then to put back flat so this is useful and will probably end up in the kitchen as “recipe on the phone” back up.
  • A free audiobook code for Raybearer, again, cool gift and fun.
  • The monthly pin.

So what did I think? I found I liked the contents of the box and ait had a lot to give, between items even my husband will use to kitchen and useful pieces and decorative things plus a great read, it just felt like bang for your buck in usefulness and decoration plus bookishness. I highly appreciate that it isn’t specific fandoms I don’t connect with and instead, they are just really nice items you can have around the house or use in your house comfortably.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Art of Ghost of Tsushima

The Art of Ghost of Tsushima

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I ended ordering The Art of Ghost of Tsushima after realising that books of this kind for older games had sold out and I was desperately trying to find them. I have many reasons to buy an Art of book, but for hte most part is to see what is conceptual art, what was promotional, what ideas where bounced around and a few other details that you don’t see in the game or film.

The other reason I buy them is for reference, as sometimes I want to study the artwork, style or motifs and other I want to make fanart. So this would be a great encyclopaedia for drawing Jin and company.

The game has blow you away stunning visuals and as you can see from my chosen flat lay of the book, you can find the same alongside more details on clothing and character design and scenery. Honestly I just went page by page through it thinking that I’d love to just transplant myself to the scenery but preferably without the drama. Don’t want to be fighting mongols in real life thank you very much.

So, if you like game art and conceptual art or Japan or are intrigued by the artwork from it, this ia good book, the quality is stunning, presentation also wonderful. No faults from me except that I would like more pages and more art for the book.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Life & Death Illumicrate

October was a busy month for book boxes it appears and Addie definitely had them scrambling for it. Illumicrate featured The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as their main book rather than making a special edition whcih I appreciate as a decision and really appreciate.If you are curious, you can find the Owlcrate special edition here. But what was in this box?

Lets unbox starting on the bottom right with the leaflet and going clockwise:

  • Theme leaflet, I do like the simplicity and style matching the book and items for most of their boxes.
  • Journey to the Afterlife room spray, those are really popular in book boxes nowadays and I just wish they were more like the ones that actually get rid of the bad smells because these are nice but not effective enough and fade generally quick.
  • Their version of The Invisble Life of Addie LaRue which I really like what they did with it, though my copy came wrong and I still need to chase a replacement.
  • A really cool pencil case I am utterly in love with due to artwork.
  • A cool acrylic picture thing, I really like the concpet but it isnt exactly the item for me, maybe if one could add their own pictures to the frame or something itd be better for me.
  • A double pin which I love for like collars or stuff o the sun and themoon I think? Really like the design.
  • Monthly pin for Addie and I like monthly pins so no complaints here from me.
  • Two wooden tarot cards which are gorgeous and surprisingly one of the few tarot and woodmark kind of objects I like.

Overall the box was cohesive nad nice and it had good and bad items. Most of the not so good were more due to personal choice and not that I didnt like the item, just I wouldnt use it much. But still good quality and Illumicrate keeps sending strong boxes.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Midnight Magic

Midnight Magic by Michelle Harrison and Elissa Elwick

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Midnight Magic is all about magic and black cats born at midnight.

It is also one of those books that as a child you love and will read over nad over again and keep thinking it would be amazing to have a cat like Midnight and be so lucky to have magic around. I remember feeling like this with The Little Leftover Witch, and I got the same little hope of magic and things just coming to happen with a pinch of magic in them.

Midnight is born exactly at midnight on a stable and she is a very lucky cat but also, it means a lot of trouble, but she will soon find her way around life.

I had a lot of joy reading this book, the illustrations make it even nicer to read and the rhyming verses to go through the story are delightful. I can highly recommend this book to read, both for your own enjoyment or for your childre, or your niece/nephew, or if you’re a teacher, then for your classroom. There will be a lot of fun and imagining how life would be if you had Midnight come to your house and you adopted her. I cant wait to see if there will be more adventures for Midnight and her family.

Overall, great read for all ages, and full of magic. Highly recommended.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: From Afar Book Box Club

This year has been challenging, but who says you can’t find other ways to travel? I do know it is hard and it is not the same, but having this box arrive and add some sunshine to my day does help. Starting from the bottom left corner and going clockwise:

  • Grown sampler, this looks like a tough but very good read and I am intrigued by it.
  • A South Korea mug which I love the artwork for and I have been using it a lot, it makes me smile.
  • A list of books to read that may give you adventures and travel feelings.
  • Once and Future Witches promotional items
  • A tea towel to match the main book. Tea towels are usually a great addition to book boxes and I end up using them a lot, plus this one is a generous size.
  • Exclsuive clubhouse invite, personalised.
  • The theme card, vibrant and showing off the world.
  • The Deep Blue Between, book of the month.
  • A Chai hot chocolate mix, which I havent tried because I have a few other hot chocolates open, but love the fact that we had a mug and a hot chocolate in it!
  • A room spray which smells very delicious and inviitng.

Overall the box makes me feel like I subscribed to one of those travel around the world in items boxes but with a bookish twist. Since I didn’t travel this year and a lot of plans got changed, it was nice to have a lot of colour and variety in it and just feel like maybe in the future things can happen again.

Book Review

Moon Reads: The Truth Project

The Truth Project by Dante Medema

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This book was provided to me as a gift from the publisher. It was one I requested since I wanted to be able to review it. The fact that the book was provided by the publisher doesn’t inform my review of the book. All views here my own.

I picked the Truth Project since I have been reading a lot of fantasy and middle grade or graphic novels, so this felt like a good palate cleanser of a read and it was the perfect book to read while in a cosy bath. If you like The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, then this is definitely a book to read as it is also in verse style.

Cordelia is aceing high school and ready to go to university, she just needs to get her project sorted which she chooses to tackle a genetic test and the concept of identity through poetry. For that, she is paired up wiht the troubled boy Kodiak. It should be an easy project writing about what makes you you and what effect genetics have on it, or at least that is what she thinks will happen. But when the test results come through, her truth isn’t exactly what she thought it was, the person she calls Father isn’t her biological father.

This defintiely throws Cordelia in for a spin and her perfect record suddenly doesn’t matter as much, when it feels like everything she knws is a lie. We get the story shown as she grapples with her identity, trying to decide if she wants to meet her biological father and figuring out what she thinks about who she is and who her family is. Through her poetry, text conversations with her best friend and Kodiak, and a few email exchanges, we get a very dynamic story.

I really liked the format this was being worked with, it isnt just poetry/verse but also texts and emails, with different language depending on who Cordelia is talking to. And it was interesting to see how she tries to navigate her new truth and what it means for her, and the lies she wants to believe or the ones she starts making up to cope with the truth.

As you may know, I am not big on contemporary, usually quite picky on it, but this one won a space in my reading due to how it explores identity, family, being troubled, making mistakes and the concept of what is true and what lies one can believe or deal with.

Also, bonus points because her family is there and not just thrown around conveniently. I also could see glimpses of what her parents are actually discussing but that she doesn’t realise where things are going or how they are happening and instead interprets differently. But it was fascinating to see the layers of thigns even through her verses.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue Owlcrate

Because I generally enjoy V. E. Schwabs books, I decided to buy Owlcrates special edition box. Sadly, I was not blown away by the book, but that is more on the book and contents than on the box and contents. So lets put aside the fact the book was underwhelming and go for the box contents which were not. Starting with the book since it is the main piece:

  • The exclusive edition of the book, it has a quote and design on the back of the book in rose gold. And the cover is subtle but nice.
  • The Darkness candle, meant to be about the gods that come after dark smells delicious!
  • A pin, since Owlcrate usually sends a pin and has a lot of gorgeous detail.
  • A wooden book holder, it is meant to help you hold your book one-handed and read through the page, and as much as they do their job I tend to read fast and it becomes more of a nuisance to move the holder around than to figure out a way without it. Still, this one is very beautiful and detailed.
  • A perpetual calendar, like a reminder of time passing for Addie, it is again in rose gold and I actually like the design a lot. My only dislike is that it is rose gold and that the quote disappears once you actually put the date up, so I would’ve preferred if it was at the back or something.
  • A gorgeous flask to keep your drink warm, which is very welcome since I had to throw out one that was too damaged recently, so this is perfect timing for this one. Subtle and gorgeous.
  • A three year journal, very very beautiful and felt like the right type of item to have in the box.

Overall I really liked the contents since they tie well with the book, which is nice to see. I am not keen on rose gold at all which puts me off a few items, it is like cheap gold, and even then I am not fond of gold so rose gold is a bit meh to me. The perpetual calendar was a cool idea as is the journal, and the items are all useful so it was nice to have the box come through and feel like it was well done. Still, it probably wasnt worth the shipping and potential custom charges for it, so I will know better next time a very special edition comes through to think very carefully about it before purchasing. If I was located in the US then it wouldn’t be such an issue.

Book Review

Moon Reads: Sera and the Royal Stars Vol. 1

Sera and the Royal Stars by Tsuki, Mok, Angulo & Campbell

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I can’t remember why I chose this book at some point but it obviously caught my eye and I had it just gathering dust somewhere (I put aside my graphic novels those moments of the year when my brain just cannot engage with a novel and needs the pictures and not as many words).

Thinking for some odd reason that this was a single volume kind of graphic novel I set to read it, and I have to say I like the artwork, reminds me a lot of old, or should I say traditional, comic style, with the colouring and the artwork, in a nice way. It is like the art was given a new lease in life keeping all the good of old styles but making the art better and just nicer to read through, a good middle ground between old fashioned and modern.

As for the story, it is really interesting, with a lot of myth, a lot of heroics and great characters making this something to sink your teeth into. Not superheroes but with a grander than just you storyline, gods, constellations, big stakes and more, it has all the elements of a big saga to happen and Sera is well fleshed to be the main heroine of the story with her own personal goals, but also being swept into needing to do more for the world and trying to figure out what is right and what the right things to do are when there are many paths but technically only one that will suceed.

Now, I do admit, this didn’t make grab me so much that as soon as I finished I wanted the next volume, but I think if I found the volumes in the library I’d try to get them and read through the whole series. But I did not feel like I wanted to buy all the volumes as it was not hitting me as much as other books have. I do know I am less into grand sweeping arcs that are too close to traditional superhero stories and I think that is where the fault is for me with this book, which is more of a palate one than of the story or execution.

Still, if you like traditional comic superhero stories but want a more fantasy view with gods and other interesting items, this may be the series for you, and it has a very interesting main character, so I can recommend you to look into Sera and the Royal Stars.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Once Upon A Story Book Box Club

Still behind on my unboxing posts, but will hopefully catch up soon on it. For today I am unboxing Book Box Club’s Once “Upon A Story” box, which does have a distinct fairytale vibe with all that was included. So what was inside? Starting from bottom left corner and going clockwise:

  • Personalised clubhouse invite, this is for a chat with the author which is pretty fun as you get to aks questions and interact with other people who get the box.
  • Fairytale Sparrow + Wolf designed cushion cover, which is super cute and big fairytale book vibes. It feels right for a kids room or a reading room for sure.
  • The main book, which has a middle grade feel to it but looks stunning here, D: A Tale of Two Worlds by Michel Faber.
  • A Weekly Book Planner all lovingly decorated with magical beings and lots of ways to record what you’ve read. I like the concept of these but I am terrible at the execution of it, somehow this blog and Goodreads are as good as it gets with my reading tracking and I don’t plan much what I read or set specific goals because then that takes the fun out of reading sadly.
  • No Place Like Home candle, I have generally no complaints abut candles since they’re usually nicely scented and I use them when I am working so all good.
  • Postcards to promote another book but also they are very dance and circus-like which I like a lot given I train aerial arts in my free time.
  • Theme card, which on the other side has the contents detailed and why alongside links to the makers.
  • A multiuse scarf with a fantasy story/fairytale vibe. I have to admit I haven’t used any of the ones they send but they are quite fun as a multiuse thing and I think if I put my head to it I would use them more, but I end up not doing much with my hair or neck, so this goes unused.
  • An Auryn pin, which is very stunning.

Overall the items look amazing together and outside of the fact I am not very good at making use of two of them I like them, they fit the theme and are generally useful rather than just clutter generating. I do wish I was more into making notes and organising things. I can still highly recommend their boxes as they bring me a lot of joy!