Hopefully everyone’s received their Illumicrates by now. I didn’t want to share on Instagram when it arrived as it’s really hard to avoid seeing things on there and it spoils the unboxing if you already know what’s in it. Half the point of subscription boxes is the surprise.

I did nearly cancel my subscription; the previous box had Truthwitch in it which I’d already read, and I didn’t love it enough to really want a finished copy. I felt a little like I might end up with a lot of duplicates… but I never got round to doing anything about it and I must say, the third box is the best yet. The book is When We Collided by Emery Lord, the first contemporary YA to be included and, on a purely practical level, a regular sized paperback. It’s something I have seen around but not read so thumbs up so far. The box also included some postcards and a signed bookplate.

Next up is something practical (god, when did I get this boring?) but also fun; a plastic “what happens in book club stays in book club” mug which I will definitely use for camping and picnics.

Then there was a really nice stamp with a fox lying on a pile of books. The stamp comes in two parts so you can stick it onto the perspex yourself or I guess you could put it on another stamp mount if you were big into stamping. I am a little disappointed that it doesn’t come with a little ink pad, as it’s not something I would usually have around the house and I’d have to go out and buy one to use it. However there is an example of the stamp used on the packaging and it’s lovely so I will keep it around and maybe buy some ink at some point.

This design is an exclusive but you can buy plenty of other gorgeous stamps from Little Stamp Store on Etsy.

Keep rummaging around in the yellow paper and there were some button badges for Jenny McLachlan’s books, a bookworm clip bookmark and a reading notepad. The notepad has sections for TBR, books to review and books to buy. I think it would be a cute little pad to keep around for readathons or the like. Some of this stuff I use Trello for so it probably wouldn’t be in regular use for blog planning.

I usually discard samplers when I get them but this box included an exclusive sampler of Laini Taylor’s new book, Strange the Dreamer. I’m so excited she’s doing something new and I might just read this, although I will be sad that I can’t read the whole thing straight away. There’s also a little metal pin with “readers gonna read” on a book. The backing card looks like a library card which is a nice touch, if you’d like your own you can buy them from Literary Emporium on Etsy.

So did I get anything else in the last two weeks? You bet I did! There’s been lots of tempting review requests coming in lately, but I have been restraining myself, and these are mostly unsolicited. I’m so behind on the Long Earth series but the final book dropping through the post was a nice surprise and a sad little reminder that Sir Terry is no longer with us.

Let me know what should get bumped up the TBR!

For Review:

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab (Titan Books)
The Long Cosmos by Terry Pratchett + Stephen Baxter (Transworld)*
Hope and Red by Jon Skovron (Orbit)*
The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan (Orbit)*
The Comfort of Others by Kay Langdale (Hodder)*

*Unsolicited titles