Illumicrate Unboxing: #14 Gods and Monsters (February 2019 edition)

Long time readers of this blog will know that I have been a subscriber of Illumicrate since the first box. I have always love the fact that it’s a relatively inexpensive book box you get four times a year, that has had some really awesome books and some great book related merchandise. This box is the final Illumicrate that follows that formula. From this box onwards, Illumicrate has moved to a monthly subscription. I’ll talk more about this and my feelings about the change after I’ve unboxed this Illumicrate for you guys.

I was really excited to get my hands on this box. So excited that I went ahead and opened it before showing you guys, so there’s no video to go along with this post. I was contemplating doing on anyway, but as my procrastination has already got us to May I thought it would be better to just get on with things.

A quick peek.

This box contains ten items, including the book. I think they all look really great. I hadn’t heard of the book or the author before seeing it in this box, so I’m looking forward to giving it a try. I also really enjoyed the variety of the items – there are quite a few that, as far as I’m aware, haven’t featured in a book box before.

The items in Illumicrate #14: Gods & Monsters

The Orphanage of the Gods by Helena Coggan is this quarter’s book. The cover is gorgeous, very atmospheric. The book is a special edition for Illumicrate with an exclusive cover, and comes with lovely blue sprayed edges. The book itself is signed and there is a letter from the author, as well as a metallic notebook. The story is about war between gods and humans, and a girl trapped by it. The next item in the box is a set of six character bookmarks by @lesyablackbird, based on characters from Lani Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. The artwork is on both sides of the bookmark, and looks cool. Then there is the Strange and Dream Umbrella from @hodderscape. Up it looks brilliant, and it’s perfect to slip into a bag to help keep dry in any showers. The next item is the Keep Me Case with artwork by @moledrocraftco, perfect for keeping pens in or maybe just keeping bookmarks safe and easy to find. Girls of Paper & Fire Chopsticks by @heyatlascreative, I definitely have not seen this item in any book box before. Then there’s the Beautiful Thing Pouch with artwork by @stellabookishart, perfect to store make-up in so you don’t loose it in your bag. The next item is the Nectar of the Gods Lip Scrub by @hellolovelyskincare which will be great for getting rid of any dead skin. The final two items are two samplers. The first is for The Binding by Bridget Collins, which was published on Jan 10th by Borough Press. The second sampler is for The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu, the first book in The Eldest Curses series which was published on April 9th by Simon & Schuster. I believe all, or at least most, of the items are exclusive to this box.

Thank you to everyone who made it this far in the post. I mentioned at the start that I was going to talk to you more about what is going on with Illumicrate, and what this means for me. To start with, Illumicrate is now a monthly subscription book box. If you buy the box monthly that means you will pay £26 a month (now, this does not include VAT or P&P which only get added on at the end), but they also offer 3 and 6 month prepaid subscriptions. This honestly made me pause. As much as I have loved getting Illumicrate, these changes with no possibility of keeping the quarterly subscription made me seriously consider what my future with this book box was going to be – this was before I knew the “true” cost for a 3 month prepaid subscription.

When it was a quarterly box the final Illumicrate cost me £29.99 plus £3.70 shipping, so a grand total of £33.69. So based on that 1 year (4 boxes) would cost me £134.76, which I could both afford to do as I only paid every four months. I also liked the fact that it only meant I was getting 4 books a year, as most of the books I got through Illumicrate I hadn’t heard of before so there was no guarantee I would like them. Under the new system, I decided to try the 3 month prepaid subscription which cost me a grand total of £94.05 (including VAT and P&P). Now my first issue here is that the website says this 3 month prepaid subscription costs £75 excluding VAT – it doesn’t mention that it doesn’t include shipping. But forgetting that, a whole year (i.e. 4 subscriptions to this package) will now cost me £376.20. Now that is a lot of money. I don’t even want to think what it would cost paying monthly. Sure it works out as £31.35 per box, but frankly I cannot justify paying £376.20 a year on a subscription box. It’s just too expensive for me. I know going to the 6 month prepaid plan would be cheaper, but it’s still (in my opinion) a HUGE initial amount to pay every six months.

So what does that mean for the future of Illumicrate on this blog? Well. I have paid for the 3 month prepaid subscription, which does mean that the final unboxing will be for the May box (as my subscription started in March). After that, well things are up in the air. I don’t really want to say goodbye to Illumicrate. Daphne has created some awesome boxes, and I think that it’s brilliant that her company has grown this big. The price is a tad prohibitive, and frankly makes me rather uncomfortable. When the three months are up I don’t think I will be re-subscribing. However, I will be using the next 3 boxes to decide if the price increase is worth it. Sorry it has taken me so long to write this. It’s made me super uncomfortable, but I really did feel like I had to say something. I don’t think I’m going to be the only one who has mixed feelings about this. I would love to know your thoughts in the comments – am I overreacting? Do you agree that this is a huge hike in price? Thank you for reading so far, and I’ll see you on my next post.

[I’ve just noticed that I haven’t posted an Illumicrate unboxing since box #11, which I apologise for. I honestly thought I’d posted about them. I will endeavour to get them up ASAP. Thanks for sticking with me.]

2019

I can’t believe it’s 2019 already! 2018 just seemed to fly by. 2018 was not a good year for reading for me. I completely failed my reading goal – I didn’t even make it half way to my goal of reading 52 books. I also stopped posting on here. Sorry about that. I don’t even really have an excuse, except that reading just wasn’t happening for me. Still, I hope you had a better 2018 reading-wise than I did and that you managed to reach your reading goals. So we’re now in the first month of 2019, and I am back and determined to keep on track. Thank you to everyone who has stayed with me, I really appreciate it.

Jan In Books

#JanInBooks19

 

Bout of Books 24

So what do you have to look forward to? Well nothing is set in stone yet, but there will be reviews from me this month for Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton and A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas. I’m also planning on taking part in Bout of Books, which starts on January 7th (you can sign up to take part yourself here). In February I will be taking part in the London Bookshop Crawl and I will of course be documenting that (click here if you think you’d like to take part too). On Instagram I’m taking part in bookisglee’s photo-a-day challenge (you can find me here). I’m still subscribed to Illumicrate so there will be unboxings of that. I am also considering doing a monthly Books I’m Looking Forward To post that would include both new releases and books I’ve already got, but we shall see.

Here’s to reaching 52 books this year, and keeping up here on the blog. I hope you had a great December, and saw 2019 in in the style of your choosing. I’d love to know what you are most looking forward to this year, bookish or otherwise, so please leave me a comment. Until next time.

Time for a break

Hello.

This isn’t a normal post for me both in terms of content and the fact that it’s going live on a Monday. There have been a few things going on behind the scenes recently, and I’ve been struggling to read books (even ones I’m enjoying) for the last couple of months – so much so that I have been struggling to schedule posts, which is why I’ve been late and missed a couple of weeks. Thank you for sticking with me. In light of this I’ve decided to take a break from the blog until July.

I hope you have a really good June, and I look forward to seeing you in July with more book reviews.

A view from Falmouth, taken in early June.

Bout of Books 18 Wrap Up

So this post is, to quote, a day late and a dollar short. Or to be more accurate, eleven days late. 🙈 I was supposed to write and post this the Monday after Bout of Books 18 finished. Instead, I’m writing this on a Friday afternoon eleven days late which means I’ll be twelve days late by the time you read this on Saturday. I can only apologise. For some reason January seems to be getting away from me. I am at this moment behind on everything.

So to get back to the point of this post: I’m supposed to be wrapping up my Bout of Books 18 experience…

Doing Bout of Books 18 was a great way to start 2017. It got me into the reading mood, and there was no pressure. It was really nice. ❤️

Between January 2nd and January 8th I managed to read three and a bit books – that’s one thousand one hundred and sixty-eight pages. I was really pleased with this. I could have read more, but reading these three books really helped towards my goal of getting more reviews scheduled for this year.

And although I did not set myself any goal apart from reading, I did manage to take part in the Saturday Twitter Chat (for a while anyway). This was just as much fun as I remembered from previous Bout of Books, and something I highly recommend for anyone taking part to try. It is pure chaos, but such fun!

The books I read during Bout of Books 18.

The books I read during Bout of Books 18.

And to wrap this post up, I thought I’d let you know that Bout of Books 19 is between May 8th and May 14th. You can find more details on the Bout of Books website, and I’m seriously thinking of taking part in it. Thank you so much for reading this far into this rambly, late post – you are awesome! If you haven’t had a chance to check it out you can find my review of Relativity by Antonia Hayes here. And I’ll see you soon with another review.

Status Update!

Hi,

Hopefully if you follow me on my blog The Flutterby Room things will have been posting pretty normally – I actually managed to schedule two posts a week, which I was super happy about. If you follow me on other forms of social media then you may have noticed that I have been pretty much absent for the past month. I feel that I owe you an explanation for this unexpected absence, but I also don’t want to go into too much detail, as the whole point of this blog is to post about the books I’ve read recently and what I thought of them.

Basically, I have a medical condition that flared up badly and I ended up in hospital for ten days. This has meant that I have fallen behind on answering emails – I honestly cannot remember as I write this the last time I logged into my accounts – and just keeping up to date on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms. I am really sorry if I owe you a response, but I am still not one hundred percent. I will do my best to respond to all emails, comments and communication as quickly as I can. In order to keep posting regularly from August 18th I will be reverting to posting one review a week on the blog.

Thank you for your patience,

Becki

Merry Christmas!

Seeing as it’s Christmas Day, I thought I would take this opportunity to wish those of you celebrating a Merry Christmas. To everyone else, whatever you are or are not celebrating I wish you a happy winter break.

This will be my last post on this blog for 2015, but I will resume posting again in the new year. As such I’d just like to wish everyone a Happy New Year!

See you in 2016.

 

March Hiatus

It is with regret that I write this post, to announce that The Flutterby Room will be on hiatus throughout March 2015. Taking a break from blogging during this month was not something I had planned, but events have conspired against me. I have a chronic illness, which flared up towards the end of December 2014, and I have been fighting to keep afloat. There will be one more post from me this month; one that I scheduled a while back. It is a review of WILD JUSTICE by Kelley Armstrong and it will go up on the 5th March.

Taking a deep breath and pausing in March will hopefully allow me to catch up with both my reading and write some new blog posts.

I hope you have a good March.

See you on the other side.

Becki

ICYMI Sunday 19 – I’m Ahead

>

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

The last week has been interesting. I applied to two internships and got denied unfortunately, so my job hunt is still continuing. However, I have managed to reach and exceed my GoodReads challenge of 52 books in a year – at last count I have read 55 books this year so far. I managed to fit in 80 books last year, so I’m curious to see where I’ll end up this year.

On the blog the last week:

What else is going on?

  • BuzzFeed posted ’35 Tumblr Posts That Will Make You Reevaluate Your Entire Existence’ which you can find here. It’s quite a profound, and funny, read. So if you’ve got time go and check it out.
  • YouTuber/BookTuber Ariel Bissett talks about her thoughts on the latest YouTube Sexual Abuse scandal here, as well as provide a link to some useful posts if you want to learn more about what’s going on. I thought what she said was quite interesting, though I’m a little sad that the YouTube community is going through such a difficult time at the moment.
  • On Tumblr author Maureen Johnson talks about the proper etiquette people should use when making requests of other people here. I thought her suggestions were very helpful, and something I would follow myself were I brave enough to email an author/publisher…
  • And finally, if you haven’t had the chance to yet you can find both the new US and the new UK covers to the HARRY POTTER series side-by-side here. I think both covers look lovely, and I would like having either on my shelves (though I still have a soft spot for the original UK covers).

Anything new?

As I was nearing the end of my TBR pile, I lifted my book buying ban this week. The following lovely books arrived, and I’m very much looking forward to reading them.

  • Black Dog by Rachel Neumeier [Goodreads]
  • Night’s Honor (Elder Races, 7) by Thea Harrison [Goodreads]
  • Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, 3) by Sarah Rees Brennan [Goodreads]
  • Pure (Covenant, 2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout [Goodreads]
  • Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, 1) by Nalini Singh [Goodreads]
  • The Queen’s Readers edited by Amanda Diehl and Holly Vaughn [Goodreads]
  • Adorned (Trinity of Souls, 1) by Georgeann Swiger [Goodreads]

Black Dog is a werewolf book that has been sitting on my TBR list for a while, and I’m really curious to see how it turns out as it’s a little different from the usual books. Thea Harrison, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Nalini Singh are on my to buy list so I had to get these books. I’m looking forward to seeing how The Lynburn Legacy concludes – rumours say it will hurt, eek! And I really enjoyed the first book in the Covenant series, so I had to get the second. I’m a bit of a lit geek, so I’m curious to see what the essays in The Queen’s Readers will be like. I also got Adorned for free on Kindle (hence no picture), and I’m quite enjoying it so far.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

ICYMI Sunday 18 – My birthday haul

>

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

Phew! It hasn’t been such a long time since I did one of these posts – just about a month. Things are going well for me at the moment and I had a great birthday, and got some lovely presents. I’m also doing really well on the reading front at the moment, touch wood!!

On the blog the last month-ish:

What else is going on?

No news/links from me this time as I am playing catch-up with blog posts and with new books I’ve received. Sorry guys.

This week are the books I received as presents for my birthday – thank you Mum and Dad, and Aunty Judith and family.

  • VISIONS (CAINSVILLE, 2) by Kelley Armstrong (signed) [Goodreads]
  • FORBIDDEN (OTHERWORLD 10.1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]
  • BRAZEN (OTHERWORLD, 13.1) by Kelley Armstrong [Goodreads]
  • ODIN’S RAVENS (THE BLACKWELL PAGES, 2) by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr [Goodreads]
  • EATS, SHOOTS & LEAVES by Lynne Truss [Goodreads]
  • AUTUMN ROSE (THE DARK HEROINE, 2) by Abigail Gibbs [Goodreads]
  • TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee [Goodreads]

I am a huge Kelley Armstrong fan, especially her WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series so I’m really excited to read the two novellas. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was one of the few books I studied at school that I fell in love with, so I’m really glad to finally get hold of my own copy.

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D

ICYMI Sunday 17 – Catch-up & Books

>

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It) Sunday is a new meme that I am planning to feature on the blog every week. It is based on the Sunday Post  which is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer, which was in turn inspired in part by the In My Mailbox meme. Basically, it allows me to let you know what went on the blog this week and anything interesting that is going on. It will also allow me to showcase any books I receive like the Showcase Sunday which is hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea.

It’s been a while since I did one of these posts. Sorry about that. The past eight weeks have been something of a rollercoaster. I went to YALC back in July on the Saturday and just had a really bad day/time there. It was crowded, badly organised, and the toilet facilities were awful. I’ve also been pretty up and down with illness – starting with that weekend – and it’s only really in the last two-three weeks I’ve really stabilised. I also took part in Bout of Books 11, which was fun and I managed to get a lot of reading done – and back on target with my reviews 🙂

On the blog the last couple of weeks:

What else is going on?

No news/links from me this time as I am playing catch-up with blog posts and with new books I’ve received. Sorry guys.

This week there are quite a few books, but it covers almost two months worth of books.

These are the books I got from YALC/Waterstones Piccaddilly/Forbidden Planet:

  • THE INCOMPLETE BOOK OF DRAGONS by Cressida Cowell
  • SHIELD OF WINTER by Nailini Singh
  • LANDLINE by Rainbow Rowell
  • THE IRON TRAITOR by Julie Kagawa
  • THE FOREVER SONG by Julie Kagawa
  • TAKE BACK THE SKIES by Lucy Sazon
  • FROZEN by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnson
  • WORLD AFTER by Susan Ee
  • WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

I got this book from BookBridgr:

  • HALF-BLOOD by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I got these books from Windmill Books (one’s for a friend):

  • The Girls from Corona del Mar by Rufi Thorpe

I got this from Waterstone Piccaddilly:

  • SILVER SHADOWS by Richelle Mead

I won this from Scholastic UK on Twitter:

  • TO AL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE by Jenny Han

Currently these books make up my complete physical TBR pile and I’m really looking forward to reading all of them 🙂

I would love to hear what you’ve been up to this week and what books, if any, you’ve got so please leave me a link in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by :D