Owlcrate Unboxing – February 2020

Hi everyone! It’s time for another look at Owlcrate! As I mentioned in last month’s unboxing, Owlcrate is a monthly subscription service for fans of Young Adult books. With shipping to the UK, each box comes to around £38 and comes packed with goodies. They are guaranteed to include a hard-backed recent release, usually signed by the author and with an exclusive cover. There are also 3-5 additional items, all of which are tied to a monthly theme.

Owlcrates sell out incredibly quickly, though they do have a waiting list and they guarantee that you will receive each box so long as your subscription remains active. I would recommend against cancelling your membership unless you are sure – I made this mistake last year and it took me a couple of months to get it back again! The February theme was ‘A Power Within’. Please read on to find out what I thought of this one, but do be warned that this post does contain photos and lots of spoilers if you are still waiting for your box to arrive…

I actually had a very helpful assistant helping with this month’s post.

This is Victor. Victor was very happy that I put a soft blanket on my sewing table. Victor very much decided that this was all done for his benefit. At least black cats are always liked with magic powers and therefore I have deemed that he is thematically appropriate for this post.

Introductions aside, let’s get that box open.

As I just sliced my finger open while cutting into the box, please ignore any small red spots that you can see on any items. Being the genius that I am, I managed to touch half of the contents of the box before I noticed…

Anyhow, I’m getting distracted again. This box does a great job of showcasing how versatile Owlcrates can be. Unlike last month, I have only read one of the books that inspired this month’s items. And that book wasn’t even featured in a blog post! Due to this, I’m not sure how well these items match the theme, but I am still blown away by their quality and can certainly find uses for a majority of them!

The first item out of the box is definitely my favourite and you might be able to tell why. If you have followed my blog for a while, you may have noticed a reoccurring theme. I love cards – both playing cards and tarot cards. Therefore, it was really exciting to find such a beautiful deck in this crate. The cards are themed around Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series and the suit cards feature fan-art of the major characters, illustrated by Jo Painter, Salome Totladze, Diana Dworak, Jana Runneck and Michelle Gray.

The cards are made of nice thick stock and are embossed with gold foil. They also have a lovely metallic sheen to the edges which my photos really do not do justice. This is one one of the nicest decks of cards that I have ever seen and I really do dig the minimalist design. I’m so happy to add them to my collection.

The next item is one that I find equally exciting. This is a bento box – a Japanese lunchbox – designed by Team Owlcrate. The box is very subtly themed around Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series and the writing on the top spells out “Owlcrate” in the Steel Alphabet.

I love Japanese food and have been wanting to give making a bento a try for a long while. This box gives me all the inspiration that I need to get my act in gear and try making myself up some nice healthy lunches for work. It even inspired me to a buy a small rice cooker, which is going to be an adventure of its own. The box is a decent size with three compartments and the lit clips down nice and secure. It also comes with a set of metal chopsticks and a spoon, which all fit nicely into the lid compartment.

The next item is one that Victor seems to particularly interested in. It is a pair of metal bookmarks which were designed by Hey Atlas Creative. This item is inspired by Truthwitch by Susan Dennard and is certainly the item that I will get the most use out of. I have a habit of just using stray Pokémon cards to mark pages, so it’s great to have such a pretty and durable replacement.

Owlcrate has provided two bookmarks in this box, as well as bit of cord to tie around them. The idea is that they’re kind of like those best friends necklaces, so you can keep one and give the other to your bestie. I have donated the second to my other half, as he reads almost as much as I do. I really like the design of these, as well as the handy ruler edge. They are made of a very lightweight, thin metal and so there is no way that they will cause any damage to books.

Next, we have an intriguing little draw string bag. This one contains a micro-fibre cloth which features designs inspired by Wicked Saints by Emily A Duncan. This is the one novel that I have read out of this selection, and sadly is far from being one of my favourites. However, that does not change the fact that this item is simply gorgeous.

That fan-art was done by Nicole Deal and the lettering is by Leaf and Lore. It’s a beautiful item with a wonderful attached quotation that really matches the theme of this crate. It’s also massively useful, as I certainly do have a lot of very grubby devices in need of cleaning. I think this one will live in my Switch case from now on…

The next item is a very pretty little keyring which was made by Blooming Library. It is themed around The Magicians by Lev Grossman and is styled to mark the bearer out as a alumnus of Brakebills College. Unfortunately, this is my least favourite item in the crate. While it is lovely and well made, I haven’t read the book and therefore don’t have much use for this item as it serves no purpose beyond simply being a keyring. Which I probably won’t use because it is meaningless to me. Such a shame, really.

The final item in this crate is the pin badge, which is pictured here with a cat and stuffed crocodile for scale. This month’s pin was designed by That’s Lovely Dear and, as always, is designed to match this month’s book, which I will get to shortly. A crown with tentacles and shells. Hmmm…curious. It certainly seems that this month’s book is a little more fantastical than January’s choice.

Before we get to the book, let’s just take a quick look at the paper goods in this month’s crate. This month also came with a bonus sneak peak of Cassandra Clare’s latest Shadowhunters book, which was actually of a decent length. If you’re into that sort of thing, of course. I haven’t really been following the series and still haven’t gotten around to reading the fourth instalment of The Mortal Instruments. There is also the spoiler sheet and magazine, as well as a little note for the author of this month’s book…

Mermaids! Pirates! Possibly Mermaid Pirates! These are things that I have been promised about All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace. This book is an exclusive first edition printing with a greenish cover, rather than the purple of the published version. It is also signed by the author and has a neat foil crown embossed beneath the dust cover. This book sounds simply fantastic, and I plan to get it reviewed at some point in the next few weeks. After I have read Scavenge the Stars of course. I am painfully aware that I haven’t gotten to the January book yet…

So, despite not knowing many of the books featured this month, I was still really pleased with this box. Everything is great quality and the playing cards, bento box, bookmarks and cloth will certainly get a lot of use in my household. I am also really excited about this month’s book, as I do have a bit of a soft spot for mermaids and am very excited to get my teeth stuck into it.

The hint card in the bottom of the box tells me that the March theme is going to be “Music of the Night”. Check back at the end of the month if you want a peak at what I get!

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: OwlCrate Unboxing – August 2020 | Arkham Reviews

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