Owlcrate Unboxing – May 2020

Hooray! My Owlcrate arrived way earlier than expected this month. What a wonderful surprise! The box may be a little battered but it’s what is inside that counts!

Owlcrate is a monthly subscription service for fans of Young Adult novels. Each box is guaranteed to contain 3-5 carefully curated items which are all chosen to match a specific theme. In addition to this, the box also contains a brand new novel, which is usually autographed and with an exclusive cover. Each box costs about £38 to ship to the United Kingdom and, so far, they have proven to be great value for money.

Owlcrate guarantees that you will receive each box so long as your subscription remains active, and I would strongly recommend thinking very carefully before you cancel. As the crates sell out very quickly, it can be hard to get back on the list once you come off it!

Anyhow, the theme this month is “Rebels with a Cause”. Be warned – spoilers and photos of each item lie beyond this point…

There seemed to be a lot of packing paper in the box again this month, but for once I was kind of grateful. To cut back on COVID-19 shipping delays, Owlcrate decided not to plastic wrap the book this month. At least all the shredded paper is recyclable and did ensure that the contents were all well-padded.

The first item out of the box was this handy canvas bag. The bag was designed by @paperbackbones, whose work we have seen several past crates. The quote on this bag is taken from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir, which is one of those novels that I have been meaning to review for years but have never gotten around to. While it is a nice little bag on its own, what’s inside the bag is better still.

It’s a lovely set of stainless steel straws, in two different shapes and with a couple of handy cleaning brushes. What better way to rebel against consumerism then by not creating unnecessary plastic waste? While this wasn’t the kind of item that I was expecting to find in my crate, it’s probably been the most useful since the bento box and I will definitely be getting a lot of use out of them. As you can see in the above photo, this item also seems to be Victor’s favourite!

The next item is another really useful one. It’s a pair of pot holders which were created by Little Inklings Design. The quote on the pot holders has been taken from Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston, which I unfortunately have never heard of. While I can’t comment on whether this item fits the theme of the crate, they are a really useful thing to have and will certainly be used in my kitchen. They’re not the most exciting of items, however, but there is still more to come!

The next thing out of the crate was a neatly wrapped little packet. Inside was a lovely wooden fridge magnet created by Juniper and Ivy Designs. The inspiring quotation on the magnet has been taken from The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon. This is another novel that I wasn’t familiar with as it’s a fair few years old now, but just reading the blurb on Goodreads has made me curious to find out more! The magnet is rather pretty and the message it carries is an important one. It will certainly have pride of place on my fridge.

The next item was a set of vinyl stickers designed by Nerdy Ink. They contain four powerful quotes from Margaret Atwood, Neal Shusterman, Caroline Caldwell and Marie Rutkoski. I’m not really a fan of getting stickers in mystery boxes as they always feel a bit cheap (and I can never find anywhere to stick them). Still, the choice of quotes are all very nice and I am especially fond of the Neal Shusterman one. It’s not the worst item I’ve ever gotten out of one of these crates, but it’s not the most interesting either.

Now we’re getting somewhere. As you are probably aware, I read a lot of comic books and so I was really pleased to get this item. This full length graphic novel is called Witchy and was published by Oni Press. The blurb promises a story set in a world where magic power is determined by the length of a witch’s hair. I actually managed to get around to reading this one right away and I can confirm that it is a perfect match of the theme of this crate. Nyneve’s actions are nothing if not rebellious!

The final item in this crate is the monthly pin. This one is a particularly odd design and was created by Pinnyslug Design. According to the insert, it is supposed to be a memory-holding alman stone. I suppose we won’t know what that is until we have read the book in question. While I don’t really like the design of this pin, at least it is a lot lighter than some of the other ones that we have received this year and so is at least wearable.

Before I reveal what this month’s book is, here is a look at the paper goods that came with this month’s crate. As always, there is the magazine, a note from the author and a handy insert that tells me what each item is (which was very useful while writing this review). However, I do have a mild annoyance that the handout this month contained a few typos, particularly in creator and author names, which meant I really had to hunt around for them online to be able to link to each accordingly. Which was a bit of a pain…

Anyhow, I’ve kept you waiting long enough. Here is the June novel:

Oh my stars! I have never been so excited by an Owlcrate novel before. I love Zoraida Córdova’s Brooklyn Brujas series and I am really excited to get stuck into Incendiary. The blurb promises magic, rebels and a setting inspired by 15th Century Spain. It sounds as though it more than fits this month’s theme and I will get a review posted for this one very soon!

All in all, this hasn’t been the most exciting Owlcrate but most items do seem to fit the theme of Rebels with a Cause. I’m certainly going to use most of the things in this crate, and I am really excited to get stuck into this month’s novel. Check back next month to find out my thoughts regarding the June crate. The theme next time is going to be “All the World’s a Stage”.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Incendiary | Arkham Reviews

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