Subscription Boxes

December’s Fantasy + Sci-fi Leafer Box

Just in case you didn’t know, Leafer Box are UK based and the cheapest book box out there (that is not just book). And for December, I collaborated with them and designed an exclusive bookmark.

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I get a custom box, which bundles up sci-fi & fantasy and only gives me one chocolate and one of any item that may be repeated, clockwise starting at the chocolate:

  • Chilli Dark Chocolate, Leafer Box always has chocolate.
  • Witches’ Curse incense sticks (Fantasy Box)
  • Pegasus 1, which looks interesting and I like the cover. (SCi-Fi)
  • Space keyring, which is already on my keys (Sci-Fi)
  • Saturn/planet patch. I love this one! (Sci-Fi)
  • Star & Planet earrings (which I have been wearing since I got them and have received a lot of compliments). (Sci-Fi)
  • Exclusive Moon Kestrel Designs colouring bookmark.
  • Harry Potter nail decals (Fantasy)
  • I put a spell on you bookmark. (Fantasy)
  • Mulled Wine tea. I can’t wait to make a cup of tea with this. (Fantasy)
  • The Living Curse Novella (Fantasy)
  • The Witch’s Kiss, which ironically, the day before I got this box, I had been saying that I needed this book and should buy it. They read my mind! Witchcraft 😉 (Fantasy).

As per usual, an amazing box.

Also, I am giving away one of the theme of your choice on my twitter @themoonkestrel, if you’re interested. it ends on Boxing Day (26th of December).

 

 

Subscription Boxes

Best of YA 2017 Wildest Dreams Box

I present to you Wildest Dreams Book Box, a new UK based box with low price as part of their aim (the box is £18 so they’re the second cheapest one available at the moment, and it has free shipping to the UK).

This is their first ever box and I was lucky enough to get hold of one.

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So here we go, clockwise unboxing, starting with the book:

  • The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. This is a brutal book to my understanding and I do really want to read it.
  • Sorting Bath Bomb from Geeky Clean. I love anything by Steph, so this is always a great way to start a book box. And so so bookish.
  • Spoiler Card explaining why everything was chosen. Also, as a note, there was a special note from Amy Reed that I left inside the book.
  • Book of Fire bookmark and postcard, and the bookmark is signed.
  • After The Fire tea. I squealed and reacted very much to this as After The Fire is my absolute favourite book of the year and having a tea made for it was just the best!

So my veredict is that the box has potential and it looks interesting. I am currently on a 3 month subscription to trial it a little more and see how it pans out.

Also, as a note, this box has new releases that are more mainstream than what Leafer Box offers, so I’d recommend both of them depending on what you want out of your box.

Books, Subscription Boxes

November’s Fantasy PageHabit

The biggest downside to PageHabit is the shipping but they gave me $5 credit, however it is still such high cost I ahve had to cancel my subscription which is a shame.

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To avoid repeats, I chose the Fantasy box, and somehow I still kind of did (can’t complain though). Starting on the book and going clockwise:

  • The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. This is what made me laugh, because I got an ARC for it in Illumicrate and now I have an annotated finished copy!
  • Author’s Letter.
  • The usual quote bookmark they tend to send.
  • The card that says where they send extra books and which books were featured this month (or rather last month).
  • A short story.
  • A study tote bag which I liked since it looks and feels quite strong and good.
  • A magnifying bookmark, which was a great unboxing prop.

My favourite thing about PageHabit is that the books are annotated by the authors and they are such a gem.

 

Subscription Boxes

Bookish Teas Writerverse

It is no surprise to anyone that I like tea (I mean, even the customer support of Fairyloot knows this about me!), and that my two favourite places to get tea is Adagio Teas and Bookish Teas.

Zilan (Bookish Teas) is a lovely lady that lives in Germany and makes wonderful tea mixes that are a delight to drink. She is also very careful in making sure her ingredients are fresh from farms and places like that, so the tea is very high quality.

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The Writerverse box was the last one of the year, but they tend to do special boxes frequently and they have all been a delight. This one included several lovely things:

  • Four tea blends.
  • Signed book plate from the author of Stalking Jack The Ripper and Hunting Dracula.
  • Goodies from the Corr sisters.
  • A Darkling bookmark by .
  • A Godsgrave ribbon bookmark by .
  • A comic page art postcard by
  • A postcard inspired by Stalking Jack the Ripper.
  • A Tric perfume by behindthepages (it smells delicious).
  • The Bookish Teas Tealicious “zine” with recipes and details about the box.

We were spoiled in signed and exclusive goodies in this box and the teas are all so delicious I can’t choose my favourite one (though I admit my most favourites have been the London teas inspired by ADSOM).

Subscription Boxes

Villains And Vengeance Unboxing The Bookie Box

I got this box purely because of the book. It was easy to guess it and only ShelfLove Crate was doing it too. I was tempted by The Bookie Box when I did the massive post about book boxes so I decided to give it a go, and here it is.

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Going clockwise, starting from the box (most items are made by The Bookie Box unless otherwise stated):

  • Amaranth candle, it is pomegranate and white tea and it is glorious!
  • Villans and Vengeance Chipotle Pretzels which meant that the unboxing picture had to be taken then and there so I could munch on them (come on, it has chipotle and it’s pretzels and snacky snacks).
  • “Fine, make me your villain” bookmark.
  • Poor unfortunate Souls coaster, and I actually sung in my head when I saw it, it is really cool.
  • Soap
  • Underneath is a Green Lantern pillow case which is the only item I am not keeping because I don’t really have lots of cushions and the ones we have match the sofa and that’s how it is.
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer. It is a monster of a book (very very big).
  • Next theme card and this month’s theme card.

Out of all the international parcels I had for November, this one was the fastest to arrive which was an interesting surprise. However it is also one that has customs, so that’s a bit of a shame. I won’t subscribe to it, but if the theme catches my eye I will probably get that particular box.

 

Subscription Boxes

Ladies That Slay FairyLoot

This box has proven to be a difficult one. For starters, Hermes tried to deliver to a business/commercial address during the weekend (no other delivery company attempts to deliver there because they all know no one will be there to receive parcels). And then, they had Illumicrate for me too. Somehow Illumicrate made it but Fairyloot didn’t (they lost an Illumicrate box before, same address, same issue).

Thankfully, the lovely Kate from customer support was a wonder and kept me well informed about what was being done (Hermes were very very unhelpful both to her and to me, trying to ping pong us forgetting we do communicate). So two weeks and a bit later I have received my November FairyLoot.

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It was a box packed full, so let’s start from the theme card (top right) and go clockwise:

  • Theme card, Ladies that Slay.
  • Blue’s Brew by Bookish Teas. I love her teas so no surprises here when I say I love this.
  • Theme bookmark
  • This Mortal Coil promotional pin (I love it too)
  • The Last Namsara postcard, which is slightly bent but nevermind.
  • Fight Darkness Sticker by Reverie & Ink.
  • Hermione candle by Flick The Wick.
  • Fire is Catching patch by Literary Emporium (it looks real cool, even if I have nothing to use patches on).
  • Slay Book Sleeve by Aunjuli Art, I have to say I have been spoiled in my choice of book sleeves so this one wasn’t my favourite, but it is a nice one.
  • The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli (they had run out of signed bookplates, but thankfully, I had the signed bookplate that came in LitJoy Crate, since my other copy of The Last Namsara was signed and dedicated by Kristen).
  • And finally, the extra ARC, Furyborn, which sounds intriguing!

As a bonus, have a comparison picture of FairyLoot’s edition vs normal edition (FairyLoot on the left, normal on the right). Size is different and one is silver and the other gold.

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Subscription Boxes

November’s LitJoy Crate Unboxing

Second LitJoy crate I have received, and I found it interesting (despite the postage delays which wasn’t their fault at all, all my international boxes have been utterly delayed).

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Let’s unbox in clockwise fashion starting on the book:

  • Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller (I had preordered this one but the guess for the box wasn’t Otherworld, so I didn’t expect it, anyway it just meant someone gets a free book).
  • A Ready Player One Quote tumbler by Evie Seo. I like that it is blue and I did loose the straw when I unboxed it and as I was clearing up it appeared but sadly it is missing from this picture (the straw, not the tumbler).
  • Otherworld promotional postcards.
  • Underneath is another Evie Seo design, but this time a pillow/cushion case with a Harry Potter quote.
  • Theme card, which inside explains why they chose each item and what each item is.
  • Otherworld sunglasses (I think these where promotional items).
  • Feyre Art Print by Jo Painter.
  • Otherworld luggage tag which is probably my favourite item which is kinda silly but there’s something neat about it.
  • Ink and Wonder bookmark, which is lovely as per usual with her bookmarks.
  • Quote print from publishers.
  • Yoda and Luke magnets (Lego version).

I didn’t really know what to expect with this box but once again I was pleasantly surprised with the contents. I have one more to go before my three month trial runs out and I am wondering how that will go.

Book Review

An Enchantment of Ravens Review

I love books with fae but I am a little picky on them once I have read them. So when I saw this gorgeous book (I adore the cover) I had to give it a go.

Side note: I also learned I have no black feather props or anything that coud be used for this book at hand, so have a lot of white ones and a quill I made myself from a swam feather.

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

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I will start this review by saying I thoroughly enjoyed the world of Whimsy. And Isobel’s sisters, March and May, were a great addition to the story, every appearance they had made me smile in some way.

It was all in all an interesting quest adventure with romance at the centre of it yet at the same time, as much as the romance is part of the plot, it isn’t the only thing and Isobel has a lot of interesting layers (as does Rook).

Meeting the fae folk in their own courts was also a revelation and it was interesting to see how they interacted with Craft (and the effect of Craft in them, of course).

And that ending was wonderful. I didn’t expect it exactly the way it happened and it was a good ending. Made me quite happy.

Moon recommends

This book, because it is a true enchantment. Or if you’d like to read more about fairies, you can try Holly Black’s Modern Fairie Tales. I remember enjoying reading them ages ago (and in general I like Holly’s books).

If you’d like to buy Enchantment, you can do so here. I am off to buy some black feathered things…

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.

 

Art

Meet The Character: Knit Anele

On my previous post about Meet the Character, I introduced you to the Wig Bag Trio. So today I will expand on one of the characters from it.

World, meet Knit Anele (and Mischief).

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The Wig Bag bestowed her with Mischief, and most of her powers are based on dreams and sleep. Anyone want to guess what Mischief does?

No?

Do you maybe wanna count sheep?

Yes indeed! Mischief can “replicate” itself and as soon as Mischief (or any of the replicas) jumps in front of someone that person will fall asleep there and then. This can be toned down, but Mischief isn’t named Mischief because of its innocence. Life isn’t easy with Mischief around.

And to top that off, Knit’s powers mean she can affect the dreams of others. She can choose to give people certain dreams she must craft, maybe to remind them of something, to make them reflect on thigs, etc. And she also is in charge of keeping a record of their adventures.

ChildKnit

This is Child Knit. She is a bit of a paradox. The real past Knit lived in a farm most of her life until she moved to the city to study and get a job. So her childhood involved farm animals, and fresh crops, and other settings. However, Child Knit as pictured above, is the paradox. She isn’t exactly part of the story but gets drawn when there are difficult topics to be dealt with.

In this particular depiction, she is wearing The Captain’s coat, which is odd, as they never meet and she shouldn’t have it at hand. (Enter paradox). She has also been drawn firing a gun towards the viewer. All in all, Child Knit represents the loss of innocence and growing up.

And Knit in general has a lot to work through, between trusting, carrying guilt and trying to become the superhero she is meant ot be, it is interesting to see her move around.

And of course, it doesn’t help that she has Mischief ‘helping’.

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Until next time and the next character!

Book Review

Dear Martin Review

I won this book as part of T.J.’s giveaway and I had a few reads to finish before being able to grab this little gem.

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Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

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I will start this review by stating that I do not live in the US, but I have been in the US and one of the things that shocked me the most was the racism that steeps from everywhere and is so latent. I had never before in my life experienced anything like it, from all sides.

This book is a raw, gripping depiction of this racism, and the predisposition to think someone is bad just because of how they look. For such a short book it really packs a punch. As soon as I finished I texted Nikki and was just wanting her to read it.

I deducted half a fox because it is a little convoluted and jumps from here to there at times. And sometimes you get so little information on things that could’ve been expanded and a lot of information on things that aren’t that necessary to the story. I understand we’re being shown who Justyce is.

Otherwise, it is a great read, looking at things from an own voices point of view. And it breaks my hear that this is very much a reality for many. I also appreciated it wasn’t just a book where “white = bad” but it tackled on how both white and black can try to stop other blacks from raising above it. Kudos to Nic for that!

Moon recommends

Go read this book, then add THUG (The Hate U Give) to your list and learn a little more about black lives. And also, please, try to shake any racism and prejudice off yourself. It makes a difference however small it may be.

If you’d like to read it, you can find it here.

Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.