December 2022 Obsidian Moon Crate

Obsidian Moon Crate is a quarterly 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 either YA or Adult Fantasy or Science Fiction, one crystal, one candle, and four to five other items. December’s theme is Darker than the Deep.

The items included in this box are a Empire of Storms unisex t-shirt, a mixology drink, a candle inspired by Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, a bath bomb with a crystal inside it, a Skin of the Sea inspired enamel pin and a set of foil bookmarks inspired by the Shades of Magic. All the items are high quality and the only one I won’t use is the mixology drink but I like the idea behind it.

The book included was The Syren’s Mutiny by Jessica S. Taylor which follows Brigid who stowaways on a ship to escape being married off, but when she is discovered she is thrown to the ocean. However, she is saved by becoming a Syren and Brigid now has the ability to seek revenge on those who wronged her. Based on the summary it sound to me like a dark fantasy horror with some possible romance. This edition also has an exclusive dust jacket, art on the hardback and end papers, and painted edges.

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. The next quarterly boxes theme is Courting Death.

December 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. December’s theme is Better Together.

The items included in this box are a mug inspired by the Song of Achilles, a 2023 desk calendar featuring couples from different series, a jewelry case inspired by House of Earth and Blood, and a chain pin set inspired by the Jasmine Throne.

Illumicrate, like other book boxes, include a new hard cover each month and most months a letter from the author. This months book is The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette De Bodard. I have read some of Aliette De Bodard’s other works and loved them so I have a feeling that I will enjoy this book. The story follows Xich Si who is a scavenger whos ship has been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet. Rice Fish the leader of the pirate fleet, who is a sentient ship, proposes an arranged marriage between Xich and herself as Rice Fish needs help who killed her wife, the Red Scholar. While an odd premise De Bodard’s work is generally well written and makes the characters easy to connect to. This edition of the book has an exclusive cover, sprayed edges, and foiling on the hardback.

January’s theme is Journey’s End.