January 2022 Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. January’s theme is Royal Secrets.

The items included in this box are a We Hunt the Flame Puzzle, a set of fluffy socks, a phone holder inspired by The Prison Healer, and a spinning pendant inspired by The Never-Tilting World.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and most months a letter from the author. This months book is This Woven Kingdom By Tahereh Mafi which follows Alizeh, the heir to the Jinn Kingdom, who is hiding as a servant and Kamran the crown prince who is prophesized to die and doesn’t realize that a servant girl will change everything. This special edition has a exclusive naked hardcover and digitally printed edges.

This month Illumicrate also included a softback copy of The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman which has sprayed edges, an author letter, and is signed.

February’s theme is Bad Blood.

December 2021 OwlCrate

Owl Crate is a young adult book subscription box where every month you receive one new hardcover book and an assortment of bookish goodies connected to the monthly theme. Some of these items are very practical and some are better suited as décor or for a pin/bulletin board. December’s theme is Beneath the Waves.

Each box includes different bookish goodies that fit the theme of the month and are connected to other books. This months items include the reading planner that was missing in November’s box, a wooden ornament, an oversized mug that finishes the 2021 drinkware collection, a magnetic dry erase board, a necklace inspire by A Darker Shade of Magic, a cleaning cloth, and a foldable reusable shopping bag.

Every month Owl Crate has a new young adult hardback book that has an exclusive cover, is signed and comes with a letter from the author. The enamel pin that is in every box is also inspired by that months book. This months book is Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen and this edition also has art on the reverse of the dust jacket, a full color hardback, and gold gilded edges. The story follows Simi a Mami Wata, a mermaid that collects the souls of those lost at sea. However, when she saves the life a a boy thrown overboard she must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. Though there is something that wants to see her fail which could risk the fate of the world.

January’s theme is Thrill of the Hunt. Personally, I have not been that impressed with the items or book selections that Owlcrate has made lately. Because of this I have cancelled my subscription for now but I could see myself getting boxes in the future.

Obsidian Moon Crate December 2021 Box

Obsidian Moon Crate is a newer book box based in the US that focuses on adults with interest in the darker elements of life and books. Each box comes with a new hardcover book, one crystal, one candle, and four to six other items.

The items included in this box are a full size bath soak inspired by the Winternight Trilogy, a Snow Maiden wood wick candle, a wooden sign, a His Dark Materials enamel pin, peppermint hot cocoa mix, and an opalite crystal star.

The book included was a hardcover copy of The Midnight Girls by Alicia Jasinsk. This edition also came with an author letter, a signed book plate, and purple sprayed edges. The story features two rival women who each want to steal the pure heart of the prince. If one consumes a pure heart they will gain immense power. But as their attraction to each other grows their rivalry might cost both of their lives.

Overall, if you are interested in a darker aesthetic or darker book this could be the book box for you. I do plan to order other boxes from them in the future.

Video Game Review: Persona 5 Strikers

Persona 5 Strikers is an action RPG that takes the hack and slash style of the Dynasty Warriors franchise and combines it with Persona’s JRPG style. The story once again follows Joker and the rest of the cast four months after the end of Persona 5. They are getting together for a camping trip during summer break and while prepping for the trip use the new app EMMA to find everything they need. During this prep time Joker meets Alice Hiiragri, an up and coming idol, who gives him a code word to use in EMMA for an event she is hosting. However, this code word ends up transporting Joker, Morgan, and Ryuji into a Jail that is in the Metaverse where Alice’s Shadow is stealing peoples desires. The Phantom Thieves are needed once again to stop people’s desires from being stolen and finding out who is creating the Jails. The story also introduces two new characters a sentient AI called Sophia and the police officer Zenkichi who will help in the search to find out why the Metaverse is back.

Persona 5 Strikers is technically a direct sequel to the story of the original Persona 5. However, it can be seen as a sequel to Persona 5 Royal but there is no mention of any of the characters specific to Royal or the event of the third semester but one can understand the story of Strikers regardless if you played the original Persona 5 or Royal. Personally, I love the world of Persona 5 and just like the fact that there is another full game with its own story set in this world.

The game play overall is definitely more of an action hack and slash game with hordes of enemies. They did include some of Persona 5’s game play with some stealth, the switching between personas, and surprise attacks but between the two I prefer Persona 5’s game play. The only criticism I have is that later on in the game you are given challenges in the Jail which some require you to be very stealthy. I feel like its a little too easy to be noticed by enemies which can force you to start some challenges over. However, I feel like if you are a fan of Persona 5, Strikers is a game that you should play.

December 2021 Illumicrate

Illumicrate is a UK based fantasy and science fiction book box that has monthly boxes or just a monthly book only subscription. Each box also includes a selection of bookish goodies some more practical, others more decorative set around a monthly theme. December’s theme is Cursed.

The items included in this box are a mug with art from the Winternight Trilogy on it, a Ninthhouse book mark tin, a 2022 calendar featuring different star-crossed lovers, a pin banner, and a Nevermore sticker sheet.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and often a letter from the author. This months book is A Marvelous Light by Freya Marske which is a historical fiction fantasy where Robin Blyth becomes a civil service liaison to a hidden magical society due to an administrative mistake. Along the way he meet Edwin Courcey, Robin’s counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, together they find a plot that threaten all the magicians in Britain and secrets that others have died to keep. This edition also has an exclusive cover with a transparent overlay jacket and printed edges. The monthly pin is also inspired by this book.

January’s theme is Royal Secrets.

Book Review: Hide by Kiersten White

Hide by Kiersten White is an adult contemporary horror/thriller where fourteen people compete in a hide and seek game in an abandoned amusement park to win enough money to change their lives. Mack feels like she can beat the other competitors as hiding is what she is good at but when people start disappearing two a day it becomes clear that something else is going on.

The competitors are a cross between a group that might be on their way to the next best thing and a group that is stuck where they are but might be the best to survive in this game. Some of the characters are annoying and you don’t mind them disappearing but Mack and Ava are great and I wanted them to win.

When I read the description I thought the story would be a take on the tropes from some of the slasher movies, like Friday the 13th which its not. However, I enjoyed this and I’m glad that I was wrong in where I though it was going initially. The story is much more like Cabin in the Woods in that you can tell that something is not quite ring but what is really going on is not reveled until past the half way point. I loved the ending as it allows the few survivors to take charge of what is happing and make their own path while making sure that no one else will be forced into this game.

I received an early review copy of this book through NetGalley.

December 2021 Fairyloot

Fairyloot is a Young Adult book subscription box focusing on fantasy based out of the UK. Each month you receive a new Young Adult hardback book and 5-6 bookish goodies. Like most book boxes the hardback are special editions and the items are a combination of both practical things and more decorative items. December’s theme is Dance with Death.

The bookish items included this month are a sword letter opener, an iron on patch from We Hunt the Flame, a set of mythology foil bookmarks, a These Violent Delights book sleeve, and the Poppy War enamel pin that was missing in the November box. The monthly tarot cards are inspired by Red Rising.

All Fairyloot books come with exclusive covers, signed by the author and include a letter from the author. This month the hardback book is Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier which also has black sprayed edges, art on the reverse of the dust jacket, and foiling on the hardback. This is a fantasy with ghost and romance in a world where the kingdom could be forced back into war. This month Fairyloot also include a new paperback book The Coldest Touch by Isabel Sterling which is a paranormal romance between Elise, who sees how people will die, and Claire, a vampire.

January’s theme is Monsters Within.