Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Out of the Woods Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Out of the Woods, June 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Despite last month’s box being my most anticipated read and a great box, I think this is one of my favourite boxes of the year from them, so let’s see why I think so, starting from the leaflet in the middle of the lower row:

  • Out of the Woodes leaflet with the photo challenge and contents detailed.
  • A wordmark with a quote about it, but I love the sleepy fox and yes I won’t use it as a bookmark but the design wins me over.
  • The main book which was stunning, The Wolf and the Woodsman by Ava Reid.
  • A creepy kinda print which goes well with some others and I just like the artwork.
  • The Lord of the Rings puzzle in a “book” case, my puzzle-loving heart is extra happy since it is from LOTR.
  • A beautiful and delicate glass bottle with birch trees and a quote woven around, the design of it looks amazing when you fill the bottle.
  • The monthly pin, which as per usual is a nice pin.
  • A woodpin for We Hunt the Flame
  • Probably my least favourite item, a print that hangs in a fancy hanging way for Holly Black, I think?

Overall, the theme and items completely matched and the vibe was spot on with it, the designs were delicate and forest and had a tinge of the creepy and the beautiful. I felt like the whole box was a good one and I am very happy.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Change Your Stars Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Change Your Stars, May 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

This is probably the one box I was looking out for the most because I love Tasha’s books but of course, this would be the one box that got lost in the post and therefore I had to wait for a replacement for a whole month, but now I have it and I am a very happy critter, so what was in the special box?

  • The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri, you can find my review here, but this one has edges that have a botanical motif and are gorgeous.
  • The monthly pin is inspired by it and it is basically the building where a lot of the story happens.
  • A weird Illumicrate key that is probably my least favourite part of the box.
  • A gorgeous book sleeve which I think is inspired by the Winterwood series.
  • A dress pin, it is cute but not entirely sure I want it as a pin.
  • A notebook inspired by V. E. Schwab and probably Addie LaRue, but I like the botanical style and the quote overall.
  • The theme leaflet
  • And finally a tea caddy which is now holding some Earl Grey I got gifted for my birthday.

Overall I really enjoyed the box except for the weird key, however I have to say I am not particularly sold on the fact we had a monthly pin, another pin and the key taking space as items in the same box, it feels a little bit like the same type of item, but otherwise it was good and quite nice, and the book wins over everything.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Dearly Departed Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Dearly Departed, April 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Apparently, I have a backlog of boxes to show and share, and since the bookplate for the book came in the July box, might as well go through this one, starting on the top right corner with the theme card:

  • Dearly Departed theme leaflet.
  • Nevernight inspired book bag, not entirely sure what the right name for it is, but basically, you can turn it into some kind of self-standing basket, and honestly, I love it. Because you can also turn it into a floppy bag that you can carry upstairs, so I have it downstairs to hold items I need to move upstairs, and then it gets emptied and comes back. It looks amazing instead of just a lot of clutter to be sorted, but I can see other uses for it, and obviously, I like it since I rarely ever write so much about an item.
  • Monthly collectable pin, a skull made of flowers, which is a good concept.
  • Woodmarks, which I was less interested in even if they are Mucha style.
  • Gideon and Harrow the Ninth magnets.
  • In the Ravenous Dark as the main book.
  • And a mason jar for drinking out of it. I am not really crazy about them since it is difficult to drink out of the rim and without a lid, you cant easily transport the liquids in it, so they rarely ever get used at home.

Can you guess what my favourite item was? In case you had any doubts, it was the Nevernight basket bag. It was a cohesive in theme box and not bad though I do wish there was more death oriented items without being too fandom exclusive.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Fighting Spirit Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Fighting Spirit, March 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Sorry for the random background changes to come since I have no puzzle due to moving house and will get to it when I can unpack and have the time for them, in the meantime let’s enjoy this unboxing, starting with the book and going clockwise:

  • The Unbroken with gorgeous sprayed edges.
  • A Winter Night tote bage with utterly stunning artwork.
  • Take What You Will pin embroidery hoop art, not entirely sure which of the many options it actually is but there it is.
  • Dark Artifices mug, I admit I love the mug but I am not a fan of the fandom so let a friend have it instead.
  • A heartglass necklace, which made me squeal a little when I saw it as I immediately knew what it was and which fandom!
  • The monthly pin, which is an intriguing design.
  • A wordmark, which is cool but I am not huge on any wooden bookmark overall as they tend to be just not right for using as an actual bookmark.

Overall the box had an interesting mix of fandoms and some interesting items, I was really pleased with the design of the tote and the Bone Witch item but I was also a bit meh about the pin embroidery hoop and wordmark, so a mixed opinion on it… Hopefully the next month and forward are better.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: The City is Ours Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: The City is Ours, February 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

February had an interesting theme that reminds me of several books so I was intrigued by it. Lets see what was inside starting top left:

  • A triket dish for Gilded Wolves which I think is absolutely stunning!
  • A hard shell card holder, which honestly I didn’t like the design on it so it immediately went into the “not keeping” pile. I think if it had had a different desing I might have kept it but I generally use softer card holoders.
  • A Crescent City umbrella, I still have their Laini Taylor umbrella so I can say they are good ones but this one is red and a fandom I don’t follow so I passed it on to someone who likes it.
  • A gorgeous postcard from The Last Falconer for Edinburgh.
  • The monthly pin, which was stunning!
  • Another great item, a gorgeous skull wooden coaster which is being proudly displayed in my office because it has my vibes.
  • And finally the book, with pink sprayed edges, A Dark and Hollow Star.

Overall it had some strong items and some not so strong ones, I think the biggest issue is we keep having items from the top 5-10 main fandoms, and not as many from others so I end up not being that into the SJM things etc,, as useful as they may be. I probably would have kept the umbrella if it fit a little better with the colours I like and I didn’t have the other one still, they are good umbrellas.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Rebellious Royals Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Rebellious Royals, January 2021

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

January’s theme starts the year with a bang and a great featured read for sure, but lets consider each item in the box, starting with the main featured book and going clockwise:

  • Winter’s Orbit which is super exciting read and I am thrilled about this!
  • You should see me in a crown Fuzzy socks, who doesn’t love soft fuzzy socks?
  • Theme card/leaflet.
  • Monthly pin
  • A collection of very pretty artwork of Sarah J. Maas bookmarks. If I was into the fandom, I’d be so into them but alas I ended up gifting them to a friend who actually likes the fandom.
  • A bag of mint tea, which I haven’t tried yet but I think is just pure peppermint tea.
  • A super awesome puzzle in a box for Folk of the Air Series that looks like a book and I utterly love it!
  • This last one was a shadow box, which I have to say I have opinions on. First, I like that it is kinda building your own but it took ages and a lot of effort as the wood was “cheap” and not done so well the actual shadows are awesome, it was just the interlocking parts that wouldn’t fit well and took a lot of pushing and prodding and wondering if it would break before it was built… Also not sure I would put a tealight inside if I put the lid on top as I was worried it’d smoke or you know just leave a heat mark that would wear it down. Maybe it’s just the size of this particular one, but I was not fully convinced by the item as a whole. As I said, the actual “shadows” are awesome, it is how the shadows happen and how to build it I struggled. However, huge kudos for adding a different kind of item, I loved the concept of it for sure!

As per my opinion above, I like it included new items, that puzzle box is stunning, and fuzzy socks are great too alongside the shadow box, but some of the execution could be better, however I can’t wait to see what new ideas come through and what comes in February’s box.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: A Legacy to Protect Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: A Legacy to Protect, December 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Decembers theme was anything but festive but it was still a box packed full of goodies I do admit to feeling nostalgic about the boxes that used to be actually crammed full with items and had way more items than we tend to get nowadays). But let’s unbox it and see starting on the top left and going clockwise:

  • The Cousins by Karen McManus, so far I have enjoyed her books a lot and this one has black sprayed edges, excited to read.
  • The monthly collectable pin inspired by The Ravens.
  • No Peak Clan photo magnets, the idea is interesting the problem is that I don’t see a huge appeal to have these around on my fridge.
  • A Daevabad inspired mug which is super exciting to see as I don’t have a lot of items form this fandom and I like it.
  • Yip Yip nail file, my husband needed one so this was perfect timing and he’s a happy man.
  • Destiny is a myth notepad inspired by Poppy War and I like the feel of it.
  • The Ravens with pink sprayed edges, another exciting read!
  • And finally a print album. I like the idea behind this as I sometimes don’t know what to do with prints but I was confused by it initially and also it’ll depend on having a standard size for all the prints preferably or not too big ones.

Overall I liked the box, it felt a tiny bit disjointed in the contents and not as theme focused as others have been and I was less excited by the items but I have learned that boxes with mugs usually aren’t that exciting otherwise and to be fair this had two books and a mug which is like double nice bonus. Those are my favourite things from it!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Daughter of Smoke and Bone Illumicrate Editions

Subscription box: Illumicrate Editions

Theme/Month: Special Edition for Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ownership: Preordered the special edition box when it was available in the presale. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

I enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone a long time ago and the whole trilogy was fun to read so when they announced a special edition box I decided to buy it and also the rest of the trilogy. But what was in the box? Starting on the bottom right and going clockwise:

  • A gorgeous booksleeve with a scene on one side and a quote on the other.
  • A gold foiled print with all the characters of the series.
  • A wishbone enamel pin (I am unsure about this trend of two part/chained enamel pins, why?)
  • The hardcover edition with blue sprayed edges, special reversible jacket (another thing I genuinely do not understand the hype for, I am not going to flip the cover around to see the reversible one, plus it’ll just damage it if I keep flipping one way or the other and it’s not like you can see the full picture if you have the book facing anyway unless you had it on a rotating platform) and signed.
  • A gorgeous book tin (also it is huge, you can almost fit the book inside it, I haven’t tried, an experiment for another time) with a “stained glass” feel to the artwork which is cool.
  • A soul thurible replica from the book, which is cool but sadly for me it is a dust catcher and nothing more? (I do like the idea of making a replica, it is cool but it just sits there, I can’t do much with it and I don’t think it is safe to burn incense in it anyway…)
  • My favourite item which was the mug, the artwork is stunning!
  • Angel and Demon bookends. I get the concept behind them the cool idea but they feel a bit flimsy (not due to material more on the design being so cut out and delicate, makes them easy to catch on things and not as durable as one would wish). 100% to the concpet, not so keen on final product.

Sadly, I was kinda expecting more and didn’t really click with the box as much as I have clicked with previous ones, which is sad because the items where awesome, just not for me. I am not one to go crazy about prints (I am bad at seeing the characters unless I am making fanart myself, and I struggle to remember names so it is a bit like “cool art but means very little to me unless I make a massive effort to remember everything”), however the book is cool and I like it is a tin, unsure about the size of it but otherwise really cool and I am always happy for a good mug.

My takeaway is that I need to be more conscious of the special editions I chose as in the end the items may not be my cup of tea and I have to make sure it is worth it for me. If I displayed prints and decorative items on my shelves I probably would’ve totally loved this box.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Spellbinding Stories Illumicrate

Subscription box: Illumicrate

Theme/Month: Spellbinding Stories, November 2020

Ownership: Subscribed on their 6 boxes option. If you are interested in purchasing an Illumicrate subscription, you can do it on their website.

Illumicrate is a book subscription box, it usually features fantasy and sci-fi but not exclusively young adult, sometimes it features adult too. It usually contains a new release, a pin and several bookish goodies.

Today we can go through the November box, which was all about spellbinding stories and how they capture you. It even had a surprise book! So let’s see the contents starting on the top right with the theme card:

  • A book sleeve for the Great Library of Zosma which is officially licensed.
  • The monthly pin which is quite cute.
  • A Forgotten Fables and Folklore ceramic book pot, I like these but haven’t been collecting them as I don’t have a specific sue and as cute as they are I decided to pass them on, however, I did enjoy the look of this one and it was a gift to a friend who can complete her collection/
  • A reusable face mask with a herblore print. I was very pleased to see this in the box as it is a way to provide a fabric mask for everyone and it fits the whole set up and theme, so it felt right to have it there.
  • The Once and Future Witches, which I reviewed a few months back when it came out as I had had a proof copy for it (and I knew I’d end up with more copies of it via preordering and also book boxes like this one).
  • Letters in Bottle ornament (it doesn’t show great on the picture because it is shiny but it is utterly gorgeous on the Christmas tree, my only sadness is that the writing is still illegible and it just looks like an hourglass).
  • Starless Sea bookplate set, they’re golden, shiny and gorgeous!
  • Legendborn which is a highly anticipated read (I still need to get to it, I’ve been a slow reader recently, life just got a bit too much and I didn’t read as much as I normally would), so I am happy to have it and looking forward to reading it.

Overall I liked the contents, it felt like a solid box with useful and decorative items being equally distributed rather than just things I wouldn’t keep or dust gatherers. And the book is a great choice, powerful, witchy and intense, and fits well with the rest of the items.

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.