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Monthly Book Box Review: illumicrate March Box

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I’m feeling mixed emotions about this box. I got it solely for the book, which I was completely disappointed would not be signed, but I went into the box know that and still chose it for the book because I read an ARC of it and really loved it, and because subscribers were promised a really nice edition. The items were from fandoms I only know of by half, and that half I only knew one well—Howl’s Moving Castle. I hoped the mug would be a Howl mug, but, alas, it was not. On to the review.

First up—yay! A(nother) pillowcase! Just got one of these from FairyLoot for their March box! I have never even heard of Deathless before this box. Of course, I looked it up and realized I’ve been under a rock. It’s over 10 years old! Like any good out-of-control book nerd, I’m going to add it to my TBR. Honestly, I also thought from the art, before I looked at the spoiler card, that it was from the Winternight trilogy. No, I didn’t pay attention to the title and author at the bottom. Yes, I’m a dweeb. The art and lettering on this are very nice, but again, I have no use for millions of pillowcases. I think I’m going to check around and see if I can’t repurpose these covers into bags or book sleeves or something. Else.

Next, a notepad. I’m okay with notepads. I forget stuff a ton, and I’m actually in need of a notepad because I ran out of the other gazillion I had from other boxes. Very usable item. The details on it are okay, and they’ll match well with my grocery lists and errand places. Always cool with a notepad—and this one is nice and thick, so it’ll last a while.

The headphones/cord case comes from another fandom I was obvious about—Murderbot. Looked it up. Sounds pretty cool. Adding it to my TBR. The item miiiigght come in hand for when I travel with cords and stuff. I’ll try it out. It’s too large put it in a pocket or a handbag. The quote sounds remarkably like how readers are who like to stay immersed in fantasy worlds in books. Jury’s still out on this item. Moving right along.

For the biggest disappointment of the box, we have the keychain. I wish that the Howl fandom would have graced any other item in this box. The keychain is so cheap and flimsy. Even the metal star at the tip doesn’t feel like metal; it feels like plastic. I may put a different ring on it or something and use for some keys that I don’t use very often. Or, I may throw it in the garbage. The lettering is probably going to come off with use. Ugh.

And for the crowning jewel of this month’s items, the mug. Rosiethorns88 is one of my favorite artists—especially the papercraft art—but I’m not familiar with the Gideon the Ninth series. I had really hoped the fandom on this would be Howl’s Moving Castle. Oh, well. The art, of course, is still magnificent, as always.

And now, the book. Oh, the book. It is not by any means objectively terrible, but because it is a part of a collection (I will be comparing the myriad of editions I have in a later post), and was supposed to be an exclusive edition, it must be judged as part of a whole. It was also supposed to have exclusive features. It does not, necessarily. The features are an amalgamation of all of the features of the other exclusive editions from other stores. Excepting the end papers, which I feel do not match the aesthetic of the book (they look like middle-grade book art from A Series of Unfortunate Events or something similar), all of the aspects of the art of this edition are part of the pieces of art from the other editions. The skeletal hands from the end papers of the Waterstones and Forbidden Planet versions grace the cover with the swirls in the exact form of the red foil embossing on the Waterstones copy.

In fact, the feature design on the illumicrate cover is the exact design from the Waterstones end papers. Also, the colors for the author name and title are flat and one-dimensional compared to the shaded, three-dimensional pop the others have. The foil embossing on the case wrap is also taken from the Waterstones edition, minus the circular patterns. Even the edges are exactly the same pattern as the Waterstones and Forbidden Planet edges; illumicrate’s just has both black and red instead of one or the other, and the background is white instead of the pattern. The positive for the edges, though, is that the pattern is on all three sides of the pages instead of just the fore-edge with solid spray on the other two.

Overall, I’m quite a bit happier with this box overall than the March from FairyLoot, but I’m still not ecstatic like I expected to be about the book. And for the love of paper, please stop with the pillowcases. Geez. Items 3/5. Book 3/5.

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Apr 06, 2022

Because I have no crafting skills, pillowcases and flimsy totes go straight in the trash unless the art i gorgeous though I have yet to find a way to repurpose them

Story Eater
Story Eater
Apr 06, 2022
Replying to

😬 I can't sew at all. I'd have to find someone.

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