Warning: The following review contains disappointment and no small amount of snark. Proceed with caution. There is no foul language, however.
When I picked this box up out of my mailbox, I panicked a bit. The box was so light. I knew it would be full of paper and stuff that was just not worth the money I spent on it. When I opened the box, it was just as I suspected. While the edition of the book in this box has a beautiful exclusive cover, I’m not at all happy with nearly all of the items in it.
First, all the stinking paper. The art on the prints (yes, more than one) in the box is wonderful, the Howl’s Moving Castle print being exquisite, three prints—three!—occupy the box and are each counted separately as items. First, the Howl and Sophie art blows my mind and the print has foil on it, but the paper is a very thin, weird paper. It’s not the kind of nice, thick, sturdy card stock that art prints are usually printed on. Hey! It has foil, though! The Polaroid art is from Bone Crier’s Moon. I read that book, but I remember Ailesse as having red hair, not brown. Third, the beautiful theme art on the spoiler card by the incomparable Gabriella Bujdoso shows the two main characters from the featured book, The Red Palace by June Hur. BTW, Hur’s name is misspelled twice on the card, even though the picture on the cover of the book on the card shows the correct spelling. The spoiler card is also counted as an item. .__.
On to the not paper items in the box, there are two acrylic items here. The first is the standee, a collectible item in each box, with art from Crown of Feathers. It’s a pretty useless item for me, as my bookshelves are already cluttered with candle and book tin ephemera. The second acrylic item is a pin. It has a pixelated shedu on it from City of Brass. The head looks like a bird here and the wings are supposed to be rainbow colored. I’ve never gotten an acrylic pin from a box before Fae Crate put them in their December box. I don’t like them. They feel very cheap.
Next up is the Six Crimson Cranes tissue holder, which is listed as a box but is really a paper cardboard cylinder with lovely art on it. It is, nevertheless, still made of paper. And the bottom was partially popped open on mine. There are tissues in it already. The top is perforated and unopened. Slightly more useful item, but I'm not sure it will hold up.
The only really useful item in the box for me is the socks. Some people hate socks; I love them. These are nice because they're ankle socks; it’s getting hot outside and crew socks are too hot to wear. These socks are modeled with art from A Lesson in Vengeance. They’re socks.
As for the book: it’s a regular edition, first printing, and comes with a book plate from the publisher. The dust jacket is nice—much nicer than some exclusive jackets I’ve seen that completely change the artwork on the cover. It feels like proper dust jacket paper as well; the paper is thick and nice quality and the art on it is matte finish. I’ve been wanting to read one of Hur’s books for a while. I’m glad I at least have a semi-spiffy one to enjoy, even if it only has a different dust jacket.
Overall, this box was full of items very much not up to the standards I expect for the money I pay, and there is waaaaayy too much paper in it. The items are strikingly similar in quality and design to the ones from the December Fae Crate box. It’s also incredibly late—it’s the end of April—and the book featured in this box was released 4 months ago. It was printed in the US, so the book printing didn't hold it up, as book stores had copies upon its release. Again, spoiler cards should not. ever. be counted as items. EVER. Not happy. Feels like I sat on a whoopee cushion that lost its pfft. Items: 1/5. Book 3/5.