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.

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Sinister Surroundings Illumicrate

Wow, I definitely have a backlog of unboxings to catch up on. I think part of the problem is I haven’t been taking pictures as often as I should and then with the blog changes, totally got that delay, but here we are, slowly catching up! So lets now see last month’s Illumicrate, which was all about sinister surroundings.

Reviewing the contents, starting from the book on the bottom left and going clockwise as I tend to go:

  • A Deadly Education by Naomi Novik. Apparently this book has caused a bit of issues, I am not too crazy about reading because I loved Temeraire but didn’t love anything after it, so I now read Naomi’s books wondering if they’ll hit that Temeraire high or not.
  • Death Conquers All pouch, I admit a while ago I used to complain we got a lot of pouches but nowadays I use them to store stationery or small items and they are so useful!
  • Monthly collectable pin, I like pins way better than the magnetic coin
  • A Caraval inspired cushion cover, which gives me mixed feelings because I’d never use this cushion cover and do not like Caraval, but the quality was very nice and I wish it was something I’d actually display in my home.
  • A tumbler with a straw and can’t remember the fandom. I kept it becuase my husband steals my tumblers and that kind of water bottles often enough but I dont use them much or at all.
  • Probably my favourite item from the box, a mug isnpired by Uprooted. I actually don’t care about the fandom but I do love the artwork on the mug and the autumn vibes it has are perfect
  • A Red Rising or something necklace, not particularly into neckalces or charms, so this one is nice but also not that amazing.
  • A cute bookmark.

Overall I wasn’t as impressed with this box but I also know that boxes that have mugs usually aren’t as good, but I do like the mugs so still probably worth it the ideal would be to be able to choose which items you get and which you don’t, but I get that it is hard to sort a box like that).

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: Identity Crisis Illumicrate

Unboxing image of Identity crisis Illumicrate

Apparently I have a huge backlog of hauls to throw at you all, so why not start with an Identity Crisis box from Illumicrate? Starting on the theme card (bottom left) and going clockwise, we have the following items:

  • Theme leaflet, I have to say I love their simplicity. They match the book perfectly so it’s easy to remember which leaflet was which book and they are comprehensive on social links/websites, etc for artists and makers.
  • Mistborn art print. I have to say that at first sight I did NOT think Mistborn and I do love that series, but once I knew what it was of, I can appreciate the little details on each character.
  • The main book, the Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson. I like the alternative universes and parallel universes theories so this is a very intriguing read for me and that had been on my radar for a while.
  • Hoop pin/badge holder inspired by Illuminae series and it is the first badge holder I absolutely LOVE. Honestly, I have plans for it, so many plans and love the hoop idea too. I need more of these.
  • Fable and Black pin, way better than the collectible magnetic coins.
  • Book tin, I have liked those as they look great on the shelves and also are storage so win win for me, this one is inspired by Percy Jackson series.
  • The Huntress, I can’t remember if it is perfume or aromatherapy but what I do remember is that the scent was perfection and I have used it a few times like a treat of scent.

Overall, a lovely box with useful items except for the print (not a fan of prints) but I was extremely pleased it was for Mistborn rather than an overdone fandom like many tend to do. Like the freshness of it all and that it matched the Sci-Fi theme of the book. Just a good box overall!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: A Darker Shade of Magic Illumicrate Collections

Any Illumicrate Collections box tends to be really good, so when they announced A Darker Shade of Magic being a box, I jumped at it and got it. And of course, as per usual, it was packed full of goodies (so much I struggled to fit it all on my usual table), so let’s see what it had starting at the bottom right and going clockwise:

  • Contents booklet, mostly it lists what each item is and who the artist/companies behind it are.
  • Underneath most of the goodies is a Four Londons blanket by Yoshi Yoshitani, which I like a lot (usually the blankets are gorgeous)
  • Then we have a booksleeve inspired by Lila’s and Kell “dance”, it’s a good size and slightly plastified so really nice. The artwork is by Laia Lopez and the quote typography design on the other side is by Chatty Nora.
  • Essen Tasch hanging poster, this makes me feel like I’ve been to it and got a memento poster to hang on my wall. Normally I am not crazy about posters but I somehow really like this one. Design by Sylvia Bi
  • On top are some acrylic figures of the characters and one of the author too, which I thought was a cute idea and they’ll look good on a shelf to decorate. Design by Monolime
  • There was also a set of dust jackets for all three books if you’re not that into the naked look. Those were hard to display as they had come rolled in to be protected but difficult to quickly lay flat (they’ll be flat after a few days under some books). Artwork by Rosie Thorns.
  • A pin of Lila’s mask designed by Stacey McEvoy-Caunt.
  • In the middle is a microfibre cloth to clean glasses and gadgets with a design by Victoria Ying.
  • And finally the hardcover book with a foiled naked cover, silver sprayed edges and front endpapers with artwork by Em Allen. It is gorgeous, honestly!

All in all it was a great box, the item I will probably love the least is the dust jackets because I am not normally fond of them in books and prefer naked covers. But they are still gorgeous. And of course all the contents are so well tailored for the trilogy that it is like magic!

Subscription Boxes

Moon Hauls: We Are the Resistance Illumicrate

The latest Illumicrate had a very scifi feel to it and the contents were as follows:

  • Seven Devils, just look at the gorgeous cover change!
  • A promotional bookmark for Sweet Black Waves.
  • Star Wars sunglasses (these were a bit meh, they feel like a filler item as they have nothing beyond a logo, and it’s not that amazing, plus I can’t use sunglasses).
  • A cute keyring, this will definitely be used soon.
  • Theme leaflet.
  • Another book planter, probably my favourite of the set.
  • A Bone Season notebook.
  • And some character cards.

To be fair, this definitely wasn’t their strongest box, and I wish it had been but it seems to be common that they’re not as strong for Scifi boxes than they are in fantasy boxes. There’s a lot of fun that could’ve been done here, so hopefully the scifi side gets stronger.

Books, Subscription Boxes

In the Shadows Illumicrate Unboxing

Somehow I took the pictures for this and completely forgot to actually upload the unboxing, which is very sily of me. Oh well, le’ts unbox June’s Illumicrate which was all about hidden glamour (or at least that’s the vibe it gave me, who knows maybe I got it a bit wrong?).

Starting on the far left with the theme card:

  • In the Shadows theme booklet.
  • The main book is The Court of Miracles, the naked cover is stunning, and I am intrigued by the book but not a big fan of Les Mis, so we shall see if I like it.
  • Metallic bookmark.
  • An odd tea towel (the fabric and size were a bit different than usual) for Game of Thrones and Arya’s kill list.
  • A Sarah J. Maas foiled print, which I found an owner for it.
  • Villains series inspired mug which is stunning and I am so so pleased by it.
  • Collector’s pin, I am liking these more than the weird magnetic coins.
  • A fan with a quote from Nevernight (I liked the timing of getting a fan during the hot week in the UK, so this was very welcomed)
  • Authors letter.

All in all it was a good box, quite fancy and I like the timing for some of the items. The mug is utterly stunning and I am happy for that.