FaeCrate is a young adult book subscription box that also does special edition boxes that they call Hangover Recovery kits. These are suppose to help you get over the book hangover after you have finished the book the box is focused on. A Mini Kit is a little bit smaller and has fewer items but is still a good box. I’ve been slowly reading the Something Dark and Holy series and wanted to see what FaeCrate would do for the series. I got the box a while a go but the dust jacket set was delayed and I didn’t want to post this until I had those as that is the main reason I bought this box.
The book is Blessed Monsters by Emily A. Duncan the third and final book in the Something Dark and Holy series. This copy came with a signed book plate and a letter from the author but is otherwise a standard copy which I will not be keeping as I also have the Owlcrate edition.
The items and the dust jacket set were the reasons I bought this box as I wanted to see what it included. The items are a metal spell book tin, an iron on patch, a Malachiasz Plushie, and the dust jacket set. I really got this because I hoped the dust jackets would be amazing and they are. The other items are okay but I do plan to sell the plushie as I’m not a fan of any of the FaeCrate plushies.
Obsidian Moon Crate is a US based book box company for 18 plus that focuses on the darker side of things. Their boxes always have a hardcover book, a crystal, and a candle and then they include about 4-6 other items. As several other book boxes they did a special edition of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff and I just wanted to see what each company would do for this book.
The Hardback itself is just the signed first edition of the standard US edition but it came with an exclusive dust jacket with art on the reverse and beautifully painted edges. I was waiting to get all my copies to decide which editions I like the most and this one and the Illumicrate one are my favorites.
The items included were a set of enamel pins, a whiskey tumbler, a set of posters from Lifelike, The Illuminae Files, and The Aurora Cycle, two maps, a candle, an Aurora Cycle pin banner, a set of postcards from each of Jay Kristoff’s series, a crystal, and a Tarot Deck. The Tarot Deck was delayed in manufacturing and is shipping later. There was also a large tapestry blanket that could be order separate from the box.
Overall, I absolutely loved this box. Unlike other companies Obsidian Moon Crate not only gave us items inspired by Empire of the Vampire but other works by Jay Kristoff and the aesthetic of the box fits the vibe of the book.
Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 5-6 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. October’s theme is Broken Hearts.
The bookish items included this month are a trinket dish inspired by The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, a Lore keychain, a bookish blanket inspired by Kingdom of the Wicked, a We set the Dark on Fire postcard, the month’s tarot cards with characters from Raybearer, and a set of character cards from Once Upon a Broken Heart.
All Fairyloot books come with exclusive covers, signed by the author and include a letter from the author. This month the book is Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber which also has stenciled sprayed edges, artwork on the reverse of the dust jacket, foiling on the hardback and special endpapers. This book is about curses, love, and what people will do to get their happily ever after.
FaeCrate is a young adult book subscription box that also does special edition boxes that they call Hangover Recovery kits. These are suppose to help you get over the book hangover after you have finished the book the box is focused on. A Mini Kit is a little bit smaller and has fewer items but is still a good box. I’ve been slowly reading the Crown of Feathers series and wanted to see what FaeCrate would do for the series.
The book is of course Wings of Shadow by Nicki Pau Preto the third and final book in the Crown of Feathers series which came with a signed bookplate and a letter from the author. Otherwise this is a standard edition of this book which I have more than one copy of so I probably won’t keep this copy. I bought this box for the items.
The items included in this box where dust jacket set, a wooden pin, a Phoenix Shawl, and an Avalkyra plushie. All FaeCrate Hangover Kits come with plushies which I personally don’t like and will sell sometime in the future. However, I always hope that I will love the other items in the box. This box was fairly disappointing. The art on the Dust Jackets are very nice but I don’t like the fact that the titles are not on the dust jackets and the pin is fairly standard. The shawl is nice and I could see myself using it in the future.
Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. October’s theme is Revenge is Sweeter.
The items included in this box are a book organizer, a candle inspired by Black Sun, a Witches Steep in Gold print, a Caraval inspired measuring cup set, and a Deal with the Devil mug.
Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and most months a letter from the author. This months book is Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao which I’ve seen described as Pacific Rim meets The Handmaid’s Tale while retelling the rise of China’s only female emperor Wu Zetian. Which is all I needed to know to want to read this book. This special edition has stenciled edges, foiling on the hardcover, art on the back of the dust jacket, and a digital signature. The monthly pin is also inspired by the book.
October ended up being a very good month for me I read six books, finished playing Final Fantasy VII, and watched a couple of movies.
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten is the first book in an adult fantasy duology inspired by fairytales. In this world the ruling family that has two daughter the first will gain the throne but the second is for the Wolf in the woods. As the Second Daughter, Red is sacrificed to the Wolf in an attempt to save the captured gods that has not returned in centuries. However, the stories and everything she knows are not in fact true and with her sister trying to get her back Red must learn to trust herself and her magic to protect those she loves. I loved the characters and the fairytale feel of this book. It took me a while to finish this book but I’m looking forward to the sequel. I received a copy through NetGalley for review.
Shadow of the Moon by Zoe Marriott is a young adult fantasy novel inspired by Japanese culture and is a loose retelling of Cinderella. Suzume is a young girl who witnesses her fathers murder and finds out she has the power of shadow weaving/creating illusions. When she finds out her new stepfather was the one who ordered her fathers death she will do what ever it takes to get revenge. This is a reread for me as I read the book years ago though I don’t remember anything from that first read through. Its a good ya fantasy that for me now reads a little young but I still love the world building and the fairytale inspiration.
The Last Days of the Romanovs: Tragedy at Ekaterinburg by Helen Rappaport is a historical nonfiction book that is as the title say focuses on the last days of the Romanovs while being held in Ekaterinburg. As I’m read a lot about the Romanovs this book was not as interesting as some others I’ve read and contained more information about the politics and machinations surrounding the Romanovs than about the Romanovs themselves. However, Helen Rappaport makes even less interesting topic very easy to read about.
Slender Man by Anonymous is a horror novel that uses the internet creation of Slender Man. The story follows Matt who’s friend Lauren goes missing and the weird dream and events happening that lead him to believe that she was taken by Slender Man. The story is told through police reports, transcripts of audio logs, texts and other characters writings that allows that story to read very fast and plays with the idea that Slender Man get into your head. I didn’t find the story all that creepy but I was never into Slender Man when it was very popular online.
X-Men: Black is a collection of five X-Men issues that focuses on the more villainous characters. I bought this to read Seanan McGuire’s Mystique issue and while I like the stories overall as someone who doesn’t read many X-Men comics I was a little confused. This is best for fans but I did like the Mystique, Magneto, and Emma Frost stories.
Let’s Party by R. L. Stine is the first book in the Fear Street Senior series. I read this series when I was younger and when I came across this book again I decided to reread it and I would love to read the whole series. Not a lot happens with this book but you are introduced to many of the characters that will be focused on and the implication of what will happen in the future has it seems like the entire high school senior class is doomed. I didn’t love this as much as I remember but its not written for my age any more.
I watched to horror movies this month Ouija and Slender Man which where both good teen horrors but I didn’t love either of them. Mostly near the end of both I was just a little board. Though I love horror and horror movies as I’ve gotten older I find that I don’t enjoy stories where the teenage characters that do something dumb are killed or harshly punished for doing things that they didn’t know would have consequences. I know that horror movie need something to happen to kick off everything but at the same time I would prefer that a least some of the characters had good ending. I think my taste in horror is changing but I haven’t figured out what I love just yet.
I finished Final Fantasy VII and have a full review posted as well. While I love this game, story, and characters I don’t think I will ever play it again since I finished and the remake is coming out. I look forward to what the remake will change and update but the original will always have a place in my heart.
Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as décor or for a pin/bulletin board. October’s theme is Wield Your Blade.
Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This months items include Raven Cycle inspired jigsaw puzzle, a Shadow of the Fox inspired candle, a small sewing kit, a Lord of the Rings acrylic display, and a Star Wars art print featuring Rey and Kylo Ren.
Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is Jade Fire Gold by June CL Tan. This edition has an exclusive cover, green sprayed edges, art on the reverse of the dust jacket, and foiling on the hardback. The story follows Ahn, a girl with mysterious magical powers, and Altan, who family has been murdered. They join together to restore the empire but the price might be far worse than they imagined.
Final Fantasy VII is a 1997 Japanese role playing video game where you play as Cloud Strife, a mercenary who has joined an eco-terrorist group to stop the evil Shinra corporation. As the story progresses Cloud is joined my a group that is on a mission to stop the Solider Sephiroth from destroying the world. There is much more to the story but given this games popularity and the remake I feel like most readers of this review will have some base knowledge of the game.
Before I talk about my experience with the game, I don’t consider myself very good a most video games and I play more for stories and characters than gameplay mechanics. I have played parts of Final Fantasy VII before but I never made it past the half way point before. While I love the story and characters, the game play and graphic have aged to the point that I can see some not enjoying the game.
The version I played was the Playsation 4 version which did have some cheats added in such as speeding up time in the battles, turning off random encounters, and a setting which heals the characters and gives infinite limit breaks. However, I didn’t use the cheats though most of my playthrough but I did play around with them at times and if I got stuck I did use them so I would actually finish the game. Final Fantasy VII has a lot of content and side mission which I didn’t do all of. I mostly skipped the Fort Condor battles as they just annoyed me and the one section I absolutely hated was the mini game with the submarine while trying to obtain the Huge Materia. For me I had know idea what I was doing or the best way to control anything.
Overall, while I enjoyed my playthrough so I could finally see how the story ended I don’t think I will go back to the original now that the remake is coming out. I can’t wait to see what they do with the different characters stories and different game mechanics in the remake. The original Final Fantasy VII will always have a place in my heart since it was one of the first stories that really sucked me into video game even though I didn’t finish the game until years later.
While I love Illumicrate’s monthly boxes their collections and special edition boxes for one book or a series I think are their best boxes overall. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of The Night Circus they created a wonderful special edition book and box that truly celebrates the wonder of The Night Circus.
The items included in the box were a book tin, a tea for one set with a cup and tea pot, an enamel pin, a Le Cirque Des Reves hanging banner, a metal bookmark, and a foiled print.
The main reason I buy boxes like this are for the beautiful special editions of the book included. This edition of The Night Circus has a silver cover, foiling on the hardback, black and white striped stenciled edges, a ribbon bookmark, an author letter on the front endpapers, and is signed. Illumicrate does some of the most beautifully designed books I own.