Illumicrate Collections Unboxing: The Night Circus

Box: The Night Circus in Collaboration with Erin Morgenstern
Company: Illumicrate
Book: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Exclusive Edition details: Signed, author letter on the front endpapers, shiny silver cover, foil embossing on the hardback, sprayed & stenciled edges and a book ribbon.
Collectible: Enamel Pin, Tea pot/cup and Book Tin
Value for loot: Great

People see what they wish to see. And in most cases, what they are told that they see.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern page 28

Happy 10th birthday to the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern!

First published September 13, 2011, this story has captured the hearts of many with its fantastical tale of a circus that arrives without warning. When Illumicrate announced they were doing a Collections box in collaboration with the author, I knew I needed it for my collection!

What’s in the box?!

*item not pictured, replacement item in the mail.

Favorite Item(s)?
Everything in this box was simply perfection. The color theme and item selection were spot on for the story and give me even stronger desires to reread. The Tea for One is my favorite item. Here you have a gorgeous teacup, mini teapot and saucer. The design/art is fabulous on all items. I love that this box came with not only an amazing tea in one set designed by ChattyNora, but a book tin with Rosie Thorns art, a print with Noverantale art and a bold enamel pin by Stacey McEvoy Caunt. I love their work so much and it’s delightful to have all so many favorite artists altogether in one box. Sadly, my hanging banner was missing from my box, but a replacement is on the way to complete the set!

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern page 3

About the book:
The opening to the Night Circus is a captivating one. Simply reading this quote makes me want to jump back in and its location on the hardback spin in delightful. Those who know, know that the circus opens at nightfall and closes at dawn. Le Cirque des Rêves, or the circus of dreams, is quite the wonder and the tale of Celia and Marco a delightful escape. This story is a bit of a meandering puzzle full of wonder and delightful details. I am planning to write a proper review once I reread it. My first read through went by rather quick, I think just 1-2 days. I hard a hard time putting it down and was happy to simply devour the story.

Final Thoughts?
This wonderful box was absolutely fitting for the magical story of the Night Circus. The art and color scheme were a perfect match and there were useful designs from some of my very favorite artists. This may very well be one of my favorite boxes to date and I can’t wait to see which book Illumicrate does a collections edition for next!

Illumicrate is a wonderful bookish box company located in the UK. Their monthly box features a special hardback edition of a recently released science fiction or fantasy book, an exclusive enamel pin designed by Stacey McEvoy Caunt inspired by the month’s book and several other bookish items. If you’re not into the bookish goodies, you can opt for the book only option which comes with the enamel pin. They also offer special editions of select books sometimes as a stand alone or as a special edition box. They also have introduced a Lifestyles line with some bookish clothing as well as the Illumicrate Archives which are a complete series of books with a brand new look and a few pieces of merch. I’ve been subscribed to their monthly box since November 2019 but my first box was their May 2019 box with Aurora Rising.

Illumicrate August 2021 Unboxing: Dark Academia

Box: Dark Academia
Company: Illumicrate
Book: The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalni
Exclusive Edition details: Signed, Special Cover, foiled embossing on the hardback, and sprayed edges
Collectible: Enamel Pin, Tea Cup, Book Pot
Value for loot: Great

As I said in my previous post, several companies have done a Dark Academia theme this year and I’ve bought two of them! It’s simply a great theme and this was a delightful box full of useful items! This box was full of useful items in such a perfect theme.

What’s in the box?!

  • Item name – inspired by designed by
  • Reading Journal & Planner – inspired by dark academia, designed by Nabaa Afridi
  • Secret Societies Book pot – inspired by secret societies, artwork by ChattyNora
  • Goddess of Wisdom Teacup and Saucer – part of the new Greek mythology inspired tea cup collection, artwork by Niall Grant
  • Dark Academia Page Tabs – artwork by Plum Tree Illustration
  • Dark Academia Washi Tape, artwork by Fez Inkwright
  • The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino. The Illumicrate Exclusive edition is signed and features an exclusive cover, foiled embossing on the hardback and sprayed edges.
  • Monthly Collectors Enamel Pin inspired by The Devil Makes Three designed by Stacey Mcevoy-Caunt

Favorite Item(s)?
Since saying all items are my favorite probably isn’t an acceptable answer, so I will choose two! The book and the Reading Journal & Planner. I mean just look at them! The book pot is a great color with a fantastic design! And with the planner, each month is designed so nicely and has a wonderful quote. I love that there is no TBR section, but there is a spot to list new releases I’m excited for, track spending, habits, and books read. It’s very well thought out and will align well with my needs. I usually use the OwlCrate planner, but it definitely has competition for next year.

But also, can we talk about the tea cup?! I’m so excited for this new collection. I don’t have so many tea cups and I really look forward to seeing how this collection grows.

About the book:
The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino is a fun “horror lite” YA story. This dark academia thriller takes place at a boarding school in Pennsylvania. Our two main characters don’t want to be at this rich preppy school, but find themselves trapped there due to various family obligations/issues. Tess works in the creepy library and Eliot is seeking answers he feels he can only find in grimoires, which may or may not carry dark secrets. Also maybe the library is cursed. You better read it and find out!

For me the book was a fun and creepy read that kept me quite engaged. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and resonated with the characters. This book wasn’t on my radar before, but I’m really glad I read it and have this gorgeous edition of it to reread. It’s the perfect October/spooky season read.

Content Warnings: Self-harm, Child abuse, Parental illness, Blood/gore, Explicit violence, Possession leading to degradation of mental state.

Final Thoughts?
Overall, this was a great box! I love this gorgeous book which has such a fitting design and gorgeous stained edges. The items were such a great match to this theme and are all so incredibly useful!

Illumicrate is a wonderful bookish box company located in the UK. Their monthly box features a special hardback edition of a recently released science fiction or fantasy book, an exclusive enamel pin designed by Stacey McEvoy Caunt inspired by the month’s book and several other bookish items. If you’re not into the bookish goodies, you can opt for the book only option which comes with the enamel pin. They also offer special editions of select books sometimes as a stand alone or as a special edition box and last fall introduced a Lifestyles line with some bookish clothing as well as the Illumicrate Archives which are a complete series of books with a brand new look and a few pieces of merch. I’ve been subscribed to their monthly box since November 2019 but my first box was their May 2019 box with Aurora Rising.

OwlCrate August 2021 Unboxing: Dark Academia

Box: Dark Academia
Company: OwlCrate
Book: A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
Exclusive Edition details: Signed, Author Letter, exclusive Cover, art on back of Dust Jacket, foil stamp on hardback and silver gilded edges
Collectible: Enamel Pin, Book Tin
Value for loot: Great

Several companies are doing a Dark Academia theme this year, and I am here for it. Bring it on! This is one of two Dark Academia boxes I’ve received and it’s simply a wonderful theme and this box did not disappoint! Overall, the box was full of delightful useful items, and I really look forward to reading the book!
It even arrived in very reasonable time from the US, which was an extra bonus. Nothing to do with OwlCrate, but PostNord didn’t process the customs fees properly for this one, but here’s hoping they do next month.

What’s in the box?!

  • Book Sleeve – inspired by the Raven Cycle, designed by Dri Gomez
  • White London Collectible Book Tin – inspired by Shades of Magic, designed by Forensics and Flowers
  • Ellingham Academy Brew – inspired by Truly Devious, blended by Riddle’s Tea Shoppe
  • Reading Kit – inspired by If We Were Villains, designed by paperbackbones
  • ex libris stamp designed by Little Inklings Design
  • Metal Bookmark – inspired by The Secret History, designed by paperbackbones
  • A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – Exclusive signed special edition with silver gilded edges, exclusive cover, exclusive foil stamp designed by paperbackbones, reverse dust jacket artwork by Nicole Deal and a letter from the author!
  • Enamel Pin – inspired by a Lesson in Vengeance, created by Icey Designs

Favorite Item(s)?
This was such a great box! I love getting tea, especially from Riddle’s Tea Shoppe, and I love the Shades of Magic tin collection, but I think the stamp might be my favorite item. Now to find the perfect shade of teal ink and commit to stamp in my books!

About the book:
A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee is a YA dark academia thriller set at a haunted boarding school where two girls are digging into the past, perhaps a bit too much. The readalong for the book starts on OwlCrate’s blog today, and I’m really looking forward to it! It sounds like the perfect book for this season and theme!

Content Warnings: Death, Violence, Manipulation and emotional abuse, Child neglect (past/offscreen), Mental health issues, Substance abuse, Suicide references (no actual suicide), References to racist history at a PWI. The author has a post with more specifics if you’d like more information.

Final Thoughts?
Overall, this was a great box with a delightful theme. I love when boxes come with useful items and I look forward to using these items and trying the tea out. I haven’t read all of the dark academia books referenced here, but they’re on my TBR now if they weren’t before!

OwlCrate is an awesome Canadian company that offers a monthly bookish box featuring an exclusive signed hardback edition of a recently released Young Adult book and several bookish goodies. I have gotten every monthly box from them since November 2016 and often order their special edition books & boxes. They ship from within the US and have amazing customer service and splendid taste in books. Primarily they include fantasy stories, ranging from urban to epic fantasy and everything in between.