Illumicrate February 2017 Full Unboxing & Review

Happy Sunday!  I have a treat for you, well, it's for me, since this is the very first Illumicrate box I received. I'm so excited. Being a UK box, it was a little pricey with the shipping, but they sold me on "two books"!

A little about Illumicrate:

Illumicrate is a quarterly book subscription box that caters to the young adult genre fans.

According to their website:
Each crate will contain a newly released book. We include a variety of genres. In addition to a fantastic book, we also send a variety of fun things! Examples are bookmarks, stationery, jewelery, accessories or any other small items that book lovers are sure to enjoy.

Illumicrate costs £29.99 per box, which includes free shipping in the UK! For international customers, additional shipping costs will be applied.  

US or international buyers should also keep in mind that delivery time will take longer. I received tracking for my box at the end of February, and I didn't get the box until earlier this week! So that's about 2.5 weeks!

Here you go:

The box opens to a cardboard cover that says, "Thanks for letting Illumicrate brighten up your days!" How awesome is that? With it's bright yellow, it sure did brighten my day!

The other side of the yellow card is the list of all the items included in this box, and any special bonus items. 


This Magic & Mischief lip balm from Bookish Serendipity Co. is exclusive to Illumicrate. I'm loving the simple ingredients of shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil and fragrance oil.  (Estimate value: $4.62)

Next we have this cute bare necessities pouch from Literary Lifestyle Company, also exclusive to Illumicrate. This pouch is inspired by Jungle Book.  It'll be great for pens or little gadgets. I wouldn't use it for makeup since it's a mesh liner and cleaning it would be a mess. (value: $10)

These magnets are pretty awesome. Both based on V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade, designed and made exclusively for Illumicrate by Her Bookish Things. (Estimate value: $6)

Next, one of my favorite items in this box is the Newt Scamander Bookmark by Jane's Tiny Things, and you guessed it! Also an exclusive item.  It's double-side with the same image on both sides. (Estimate Value: $4)

The "Following Ophelia" bookmark is one of the "extras" in some of the boxes. It's a promotional bookmark for a book of the same name by Sophia Bennett.  (Estimate Value: $1)

Since we're onto the bonus items. The above items are also "extras." We have a sampler of Flame in the Mist, by Renee Ahdieh, the bestselling author of The Wrath & the Dawn. I'm not putting a value on this since it's a promotional piece (and I really don't know how much to value it at!) *hehe.

And a very nice postcard of the Gilded Cage by Vic James. You can actually mail this!  (Estimate value: $1)

The featured book is Wintersong by S.Jae Jones. I've heard a lot about this book, so I'm definitely happy to get this. Though a little disappointed it's not a hardback, but we got books in this box, so not complaining. It also came with an author letter, a bookmark and a signed bookplate.  (Value of book on Amazon: $6.87)

About Wintersong by S. Jae Jones:
The last night of the year. Now the days of winter begin and the Goblin King rides abroad, searching for his bride…

All her life, Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, dangerous Goblin King. They’ve enraptured her mind, her spirit, and inspired her musical compositions. Now eighteen and helping to run her family’s inn, Liesl can’t help but feel that her musical dreams and childhood fantasies are slipping away.

But when her own sister is taken by the Goblin King, Liesl has no choice but to journey to the Underground to save her. Drawn to the strange, captivating world she finds―and the mysterious man who rules it―she soon faces an impossible decision. And with time and the old laws working against her, Liesl must discover who she truly is before her fate is sealed.

Rich with music and magic, S. Jae-Jones's Wintersong will sweep you away into a world you won’t soon forget.

The other book is Red Sister by Mark Lawrence. Every box includes an ARC (advance reader copy) which cannot be sold, so technically there is no value, but it's another book. I haven't heard of this one, so I'm not sure what to expect. Here's the synopsis.

About Red Sister by Mark Lawrence:
The international bestselling author of the Broken Empire and the Red Queen’s War trilogies begins a stunning epic fantasy series about a secretive order of holy warriors...

At the Convent of Sweet Mercy, young girls are raised to be killers. In some few children the old bloods show, gifting rare talents that can be honed to deadly or mystic effect. But even the mistresses of sword and shadow don’t truly understand what they have purchased when Nona Grey is brought to their halls.

A bloodstained child of nine falsely accused of murder, guilty of worse, Nona is stolen from the shadow of the noose. It takes ten years to educate a Red Sister in the ways of blade and fist, but under Abbess Glass’s care there is much more to learn than the arts of death. Among her class Nona finds a new family—and new enemies. 

Despite the security and isolation of the convent, Nona’s secret and violent past finds her out, drawing with it the tangled politics of a crumbling empire. Her arrival sparks old feuds to life, igniting vicious struggles within the church and even drawing the eye of the emperor himself.

Beneath a dying sun, Nona Grey must master her inner demons, then loose them on those who stand in her way.

And for some who have been subscribers since the beginning also includes a copy of Blood for Blood, the sequel to Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin, which was the book in the very first Illumicrate box. Now that's such a sweet thing to do for loyal subscribers! Don't you think?

In all, the total value of this box is: $33.49 not counting the ARC, but again, it was a SECOND BOOK! I think the value of the box is there. Add in shipping, we're cutting it close. I'm not sure if I can (financially) afford continuing this, but I have until next month to make a decision.  What do you think? Would you keep it or not? 

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository



  1. If it's not a great bargain, I'd rather pick and choose for myself but that's just me. This sounds too close to retail to be a bargain for me.

    1. Yea. I thought so too. Sadly. Maybe if it wasn't a UK box.

  2. Thanks for sharing your box with us.


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