OwlCrate Unboxing – September 2020

Wow, my September crate was super delayed in the post (thanks COVID…) but at least it has finally arrived. And I am really excited to show you what was inside!

Before I get into the meat of it, let’s talk a little about where this exciting box of mystery came from. OwlCrate is a monthly subscription service that caters to fans of young adult literature. Each box costs around £38 and is guaranteed to contain a hardbacked book, usually autographed and with an exclusive cover. In addition to this, the crate also contains 3-5 other items, all picked to match a set theme. As Halloween is fast approaching, the theme this time was ‘A Glorious Haunting’. Read on to find out what I though though, be warned, massive spoilers and photos lie beyond this point…

I must admit, my first thought when I opened this crate was how empty it was. This month, there was no packing paper as a certain large item filled up most of the space in the box. While I was glad to not have to tidy up masses of shredded paper, this did initially fill me with worry. I watched my postman drop this box on the pavement outside my house and was terrified that something could have been broken.

Luckily, the first item in this crate did provide more than enough padding. It’s a flannel blanket that was designed by Michelle Gray, which features the entire text of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven. I must admit, even before I unwrapped this item, I was already super excited. I studied Gothic literature in University and am a huge lover of Poe’s work. This item is probably my favourite item that I have ever gotten from an OwlCrate.

The blanket is about 50cm x 40cm so it isn’t massive, but the fabric is very warm and super-soft. I’ve got it wrapped around my shoulders as I type and I’m sure that I’m going to get plenty of use out of it, especially as the nights grow longer and colder. My only small concern is its colour. As the owner of a black cat who has a fondness for soft things, I imagine that it isn’t going to look this white for long…

The next item out of the crate was a box of coffee spoons. These items are an Owlcrate exclusive and were inspired by The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones. This certainly meets the creepy theme of this crate nicely, and I do like the way that the spoons taper to little skull faces at the end. The spoons are made from stainless steel and come in three colours – gold, silver and black. While it seems a little sad for me to get so excited about cutlery, I think that these are really cute and, once again, are a very practical item to have in a crate.

The next item is an exclusive candle from Novelly Yours. The candle is called ‘The Black Flame’ and its scent is vanilla and bourbon. This combination is wonderful, creating a scent that’s really strong and warming with a slightly sweet edge to it. My only real issue with this item is that I’m not sure what novel it’s actually inspired by. The spoiler card included in the crate gives no clue and, if the name of the scent is a reference, I don’t get it. Still, OwlCrate candles are always welcome and I will certainly use it.

Next up is an enamel bookmark which was designed by Lapels and Spells. The design shows a little skeleton in a coffin and a planchet which are linked by a delicate chain. The writing on the planchet says “Death Before DNF”, which nicely expresses my feelings towards to books. “DNF” stands for “Did Not Finish”, and I can assure you that I fully read every book that features on this blog! The bookmark is very cute and fits the theme of the crate, but my only concern is that it feels a little fragile. I hope that chain doesn’t break because I definitely plan on using it!

The last large item in this crate was a tube of lip balm, which was designed by Fiction Bath Co. As the name suggests, this item was inspired by The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. Naturally, that means that it is pumpkin spiced! While it’s not the most exciting of items, it does taste nice and left my lips feeling suitably soft. At least it is another item that I will get use out of.

The next item is the enamel pin. Each OwlCrate contains one of these which matches the monthly read, and this month’s was designed by The Pickety Witch. So we have a hand wearing a lady’s glove holding a black rose. I wonder what that has to do with this month’s book…

Before get to that, here is a quick look at the paper goods in this month’s crate. There is the spoiler card, the monthly magazine and a little letter from the author of this month’s book. So, I guess I’ve stalled for long enough now. Let’s see what our September read is!

OwlCrate’s September novel is Horrid by Katrina Leno, and I must admit that I am super excited about this one. The blurb promises a creepy and atmospheric tale which explores themes of mental illness, rage and grief. Here’s hoping that it can deliver on that because that cover is certainly drawing me in! This copy is signed by the author, but the most unique thing about it can be found beneath the dust jacket…

For first time, this OwlCrate exclusive has come with a reversible sleeve. The inside features a fantastic illustration by Rena Illustration, and depicts a woman standing in front of a creepy, rundown house. No doubt the significance of this will become clear when I review Horrid in a few weeks time.

So, that’s everything that came in the September crate. While the crate didn’t seem as stuffed full as usual, I must admit that it has actually been one of my favourites so far. All the items fit the theme and there isn’t anything in it that I won’t use. The book also looks great and I really can’t wait to get stuck into it.

Well, that’s it for September. Check back in a few weeks to see what I thought of the October crate. The theme is going to be “Legends and Lore”.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Noelle
    Oct 19, 2020 @ 01:02:10

    This OwlCrate unboxing was fun to watch! Where have I been?!

    I’m really conflicted about these spooky books having such lovely covers. I just might venture out of my comfort zone and try reading some. Looking forward to your review on Horrid!


    • Arkham Reviews
      Oct 19, 2020 @ 07:38:34

      I love a spooky story – especially at this time of year – but totally understand why they are outside of some people’s comfort zone. I have a few more horror reviews lined up for the next couple of weeks to get into the spirit of things.
      To start our, why not try a short story like something by Poe? They’re still creepy but not overly violent or scary by modern standards.


      • Noelle
        Oct 19, 2020 @ 20:28:25

        Great suggestion! I read a few of Poe’s works back in college, but sadly I don’t remember much about them. I guess I’ll have to go back and look at his writing now. 🙂

        Nowadays, even non-horror books can have some pretty disturbing moments, so I think I’m fine with anything with a spooky atmosphere. Perhaps text doesn’t affect me as much as actual visuals. It’s just rampant gore/overly descriptive gross stuff that I’d prefer not to read.

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