PageHabit is a book subscription box that sends a title in the genre of your choice with annotations from the author, a bookmark, and other book-related goods. Choose between the monthly genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Horror, or Historical Fiction, and quarterly genres: Literary Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, or Cookbook.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes).
This review is of the PageHabit Horror genre, $29.99 a month, box.
The Subscription Box: PageHabit
The Cost: $29.99 a month + shipping
The Products: 1 hardback book annotated with notes by the author, a bookmark, a blank notebook, a letter from the author, and a book light.
Ships to: the US for $4.99, Canada for $14.99, and Everywhere else in the world for $19.99, plus any local taxes that may be applied.
PageHabit March 2018 Horror Genre Review
Each PageHabit purchase goes to supporting children’s literacy across the world, and for March, PageHabit is working with Books for Africa to donate books to the Kiangua community in Kenya. The card gave some information on the resources for the region, while the opposite side of the card shows you every book chosen for March in all the genres they offer.
Each PageHabit box has a letter from the author, which makes these boxes extra special. This month’s letter from author Robert Ashcroft is across a couple of pages and tells the story of his particular world travels, witnessing far-off temples, and how the process of building a temple is not unlike the process of writing itself. It’s always so cool to see these letters in the author’s own hand; it makes you feel more connected to them and their work.
These boxes always include a bookmark, and this month’s box included one with a quote from Jane Smiley’s 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel. That book examines the art form of the novel, and this is a quote that definitely speaks to my soul!
The Appointment by Kelcie Des Jardins
Each PageHabit has a short story included, and it was nice to see a female author this time. Past books have included novels by women authors, but this is the first I’ve received where the short story is. The Appointment details a visit to the eye doctor, something I’m all too familiar with; I’ve worn glasses (and later, contacts) since I was four. This doctor seems to be inspecting more than just eyes, though, as our main character’s soul seems to be put through the ringer as he doctor inspects her optic nerve. The story was first-person and fast-paced; it used a lot of sense descriptions to give the narrative an urgent immediacy.
Fred Skeleton Keys - Retail Value $13.11
Skulls are one of my favorite motifs; I love wearing them basically all the time. This item is absolutely perfect for me because I have a ton of keys to carry around, and these are such a cute way to keep all of them organized! Fred products are well-made, too; the material feels high-quality, and for added awesomeness, they also glow in the dark!
Adult Coloring Animal Kingdom - Estimated Value $10.75 (value based on a similar item)
Coloring has become one of my favorite downtime activities because it’s so relaxing. I love the intricate designs of this book and I love that they’re actually cards you can send when they’re all finished! I’m always adding to my stationery collection, and it’ll be so fun to send off cards that I’ve actually decorated myself.
Cable Photo Holder - Retail Value $9.55
I haven’t seen too many home decor items in this subscription so far, and I thought this was a unique item to add to the box! This is for photos or any kind of flat keepsakes, but I think I’d like to use this for cards from my friends! My pals always give me the best cards and send me postcards from far-off places, and re-reading them always gives my spirits a lift, so this is a fantastic way to keep them close to hand.
My first American author from this subscription! Robert Ashcroft’s debut novel is the book this month and is described as Blade Runner meets Westworld via Resident Evil, which is a tall order in the world of horror. It was released on February 27th, 2018, and is 280 pages long. Summary from Amazon:
Seven years after the limitless depths of the Hollow War decimated Earth, leaving only 50,000 humans to fight for survival in Los Angeles, Theo Abrams is sent on a mission to destroy the enigmatic being that initiated this apocalypse, confronting the fact that humanity's yearning to transcend reality caused its downfall . . .
This story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, and jumps right into the fray, leaving the reader to pick up clues as we go along in order to get into the plot. The story is told in first-person from the main character, Theo, who is currently entrenched in a war against the artificial intelligence that’s risen in the world and destroyed most of it, save for a population of 50,000 people residing in what used to be Los Angeles. There are time shifts in this narrative as we see Theo’s current struggle, as well as his life before the war, as he navigates his separation from his transgender wife. The novel in these flashbacks tries to explore what the future might hold for theology, interpersonal interaction, and gender identity, but I’m not sure this novel completely manages to do justice to the transgender community. Additionally, this book is much darker than others I’ve read from this subscription, despite all of them being considered horror. The violence and gore are described in detail that some readers may not enjoy. There is also a heavy focus on the darkest areas in which technology can take us in this future, including a cyborg dog that spies on a child, as well as what the author calls pedo-bots, the purpose for which hopefully I don’t need to explain. The novel’s overall theme clearly centers around questions of life and survival; what makes life worth living? When is it more important to survive, and when is it more important to thrive? Throughout the fight against the titular Megarothke, Theo harbors a secret that could be key to defeating the forces at work and restoring the world, and we get the information in bits and pieces that construct the universe from the ground up. Despite the more extensive violence, the world-building in this story is certainly compelling, but even though it’s clear the reader is supposed to be on Theo’s side, for me, I couldn’t quite connect with Theo enough to be invested in his fate.
Verdict: The nice thing about PageHabit boxes is that there are so many different elements within! This month’s short story was a nice departure from previous months, and I really liked the items! I can’t wait to put the photo cable at my desk, and the skeleton keys are crazy-useful. I really love receiving this subscription, and even though this book was not a favorite, I did appreciate the more sci-fi, AI elements of this dark double-genre book.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Sadly, no. You will receive the June Box!
Value Breakdown: This box cost me $29.99 + $4.99 shipping, which means that each of the 5 items (not including the author’s letter and paper bookmark) in the box has an average cost of $7.00.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of this PageHabit box?