Illumicrate March Unboxing – Adventure Awaits
I have been excited about the Illumicrate March box ever since it was announced as I knew that the featured book would be Once & Future. Illumicrate have also selected some fantastic fandoms to feature with their items. Personally, I am so excited that they are featuring Sanderson’s Mistborn and Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings! This is also the first ever Illumicrate monthly box! Their boxes were originally quarterly, which was extremely convenient for readers already subscribed to other book boxes. I think that moving to a monthly box was a very bold decision! They are a great company and their special editions blow everyone else out of the water. If they can bring a little of that magic into a monthly service then I am sure that they will have a lot of loyal customers.
Illumicrate Customer Service
One of the most important things to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a book box subscription is knowing that the company has good customer service. If something goes wrong or an item is damaged, you need to know that they will be there to sort out the problem. Illumicrate’s customer service is excellent. I have to tell you that they have gone above and beyond to sort out any issues I have had (a little minor aesthetic damage to a couple of items in the past etc). Caitlin is amazing, as is the rest of the team!
Illumicrate March Book
Once & Future is a fantastic book written by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy. Both authors have signed the book, which is amazing! It is a gender-bending, queer retelling of King Arthur in space. It is LGBTQIAP+ friendly and has more representation in it’s pages than I have ever seen in one book. Merlin is hilarious, Ari (the 42nd reincarnation of King Arthur) is a female immigrant and then there are the other knights… If you want to know more about the book then I recently reviewed it here. A lot of edits took place between the advanced reader copies and final edition of the book so I am eager to read it again.
Illumicrate secured a special edition of the book, which is recoloured and has sprayed edges. The original cover is GORGEOUS, I love it, so the recolouring didn’t really do it for me. For me the original blue and pink were interesting because of King Arthur being female instead of male commenting on gender binary. With the purple it also makes up the colours of the bi flag. A lot of people love the recolouring though! It is only a matter of personal taste. The teal sprayed edges are lovely.
Illumicrate March Items
I think it is really great that Illumicrate have chosen to feature fandoms that are popular but are not as well represented in book boxes. We often see the same fandoms being recycled over and over across YA book boxes, which is not fun if you don’t like that particular fandom! In their announcement they assured subscribers that even if they didn’t know the fandoms very well, that they could still enjoy the items in the March box.
The notebook set is inspired by The Raven Cycle series, which I haven’t read. I love the colours and design of the notebooks though! Pretty stationary is always a welcome addition. It is nice to have two different sizes too. These were designed by @Bookmarkd.tattoos
Enamel Pin Set
The enamel pins are based on the Lord of the Rings and are by far my favourite items in the box. The first pin is of Frodo’s iconic front door in the Shire and the second is the eye of Sauron upon Barad-dûr in Mordor. They represent the beginning and the end of a journey, which is SO lovely. What a great idea for an ‘Adventure Awaits’ themed box! I love Fable & Black pins and instantly recognised these are their work.
I usually love Illumicrate socks but I don’t think the design is particularly exciting for this pair. They are inspired by Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I am really pleased that they picked this fandom but I think they missed a trick. The UK covers for the series, which are sought after, are white with blue, grey and black. It would have been amazing to use the recognisable colours. The quality of the socks is very good as always. They are thick, soft and stretchy.
I had never heard of a mug rug before! Apparently it is a posh fabric coaster that is large enough to accommodate a mug as well as a snack. The perfect excuse for a biscuit or two! This mug rug is based on A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and was designed by Hannah Detterbeck @temporaryplacesshop. I think the design is very cute and it is nice to see an original item.
I am not really a fan of this item but it is always good to have something practical. Sarah Brown is a great artist, her designs are lovely but I feel that this item doesn’t do her artwork justice. The picture is printed on both sides of the bottle and other than the cap, the rest is plain white. I feel that it could have been finished off slightly better with a few adjustments like making the design into a window looking out so the rest of the bottle could be stone like a castle or have Ari’s ship name printed in the gaps? It could have been themed on Once & Future‘s medieval themed planet Lionel as if it is a bottle bought from there. To me it feels a little too plain for a plastic item.
The chapter sampler included for Temi Oh’s Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, looks really good and I’m looking forward to giving it a try. I love the Proud bookmark. It goes very well with the featured book. There is also a Muse of Nightmares postcard. You may have noticed the sneaky bookplate in the corner, which was accidentally added to the March boxes. If you had guessed what the April book would be then that should be confirmation!
When I initially opened the box this morning I admit I was a little disappointed, mainly because of the book recolouring and water bottle. I probably set myself up for a fall because of my excitement over Once & Future. Design preferences are always down to personal taste though and the mix of items is nice. The enamel pins are the stand out items for me and I really love them, both for the design and the concept behind them! This is my first box in a three month subscription and I have high hopes for the next two boxes. The April and May boxes feature releases that I am desperate to get my hands on! They also have some great fandoms coming up such as Game of Thrones and Three Dark Crowns.
Did you get the Illumicrate March box? I would love to hear your thoughts!