OwlCrate is a YA book subscription box. Each month they send you a newly released YA book with some bookish goodies.
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.)
About OwlCrate YA
The Subscription Box: OwlCrate YA
The Cost: $29.99 + shipping
DEAL: Use coupon code WELCOME10 to save 10% off your first month!
The Products: A new YA book and 3-5 book-related goodies.
Ships to: US for $6.99, Canada for $10.59, and International for $19.99
OwlCrate YA "Whimsical Beasts" Review
Each box comes with a card detailing the theme and the items included. This month’s theme is “Whimsical Beasts.”
OwlCrate also included a booklet featuring an interview with the author, a word search and an interview with the designer of one of our exclusive items. There is also some information on their photo challenge at the end.
This edition of the book was signed by the author and features an exclusive cover, which is really stunning, by the way! I have always loved the story of the Phoenix from my lessons in Greek mythology, (yes, even before the days of Harry Potter), so I was intrigued and excited to see a book like this as our selection this month. The story is told through the different viewpoints of various characters, most of whom are animages and revered the Phoenix Riders who had died in the Blood War sixteen years ago. Animages are able to communicate with animals, a magic that is no longer allowed and could be used to used to force them into servitude if the wrong person were to find this out. The story was compelling and exciting with some complex relationships between the characters as they all navigate through this world which forces them to hide who they truly are.
Book Summary from Amazon:
An Ember in the Ashes meets Three Dark Crowns in this lush debut fantasy novel about a girl who disguises herself as a boy to join a secret group of warriors that ride phoenixes into battle.
I had a sister, once…
In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.
I promised her the throne would not come between us.
Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.
But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.
Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.
Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.
Crown of Feathers is an epic fantasy about love’s incredible power to save—or to destroy. Interspersed throughout is the story of Avalkyra Ashfire, the last Rider queen, who would rather see her empire burn than fall into her sister’s hands.
You might have noticed that in addition to the exclusive dustjacket design, the edges of the pages are actually stained purple to match the cover underneath. It looks so nice with the colors of the book and definitely makes it feel just a tad more special.
We also received a letter from the author with an incredible illustration of a map on the front. I really love the author's note here, it is such a personal message that really enriched the reading experience!
Exclusive! Crown of Feathers Bookmark
This bookmark is the perfect way to mark your spot in this book! I love that it mimics the colors from the cover and that it is in the shape of a feather. The string at the end allows you to mark your place easily and I thought it was a great design.
Exclusive! OwlCrate Edition: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill - Retail Value $10.95
You can see that the version we received is different from the version available on Amazon because it is an exclusive edition! This series actually began as a webcomic which aired new pages every week until its completion and then it was turned into a book. What a fun idea for a graphic novel, and this certainly fits within our whimsical beasts theme!
This novel features some beautiful artwork and illustrations as it tells the story of Greta who discovers a Tea Dragon and goes about learning the ancient art of caring for one. She learns that there was once an entire society dedicated to caring for them, but there aren't many of them left and in the end, it is up to her and a few new friends to form a new society. This was a short, easy read full of sweet characters and some adventure, but really, the artwork was what I enjoyed most!
Exclusive! Haku Keychain designed by Four Seasons Fox
This keychain goes along with our Tea Dragon book although this features the dragon, Haku, from the Japanese film Spirited Away. I love the pastel colors against the gold background making it such a pretty design for a keychain!
Exclusive! Harry Potter-inspired Beanie designed by OwlCrate and Michelle Gray
This beanie is a collaboration between Team OwlCrate and Michelle Gray and I think it is such a fun nod to Harry Potter and perfect for any book lover! Who doesn't wish they could just summon all of the books? I love the purple and white with the unicorns and hearts and that large pom on top just completes it perfectly! I was surprised at the incredible quality of this hat. It is nice and thick, but stretchy, and it seems like it will definitely be a hat that lasts through several winter seasons.
Here is my daughter modeling the hat. It's a little big for her, but I am pretty sure she has plans to steal it next time we head outside since she loved it so much!
Exclusive! Harry Potter-inspired Travel Umbrella by Anne Lambelet
This is the second Harry Potter inspired item this month and it is a travel umbrella that folds down very compactly but opens nice and wide to what I consider to be a full-size umbrella. It was designed by our featured illustrator in our booklet, Anne Lambelet, and features several magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter including some dementors, a three-headed dog and of course a Phoenix. I love that it is a nod to HP and these beasts without being incredibly obvious and that kelly green color is so pretty! This is such a fun and unique design for a practical item.
Here is a closeup of the pattern. What whimsical beasts do you spy?
It features a loop on the bottom of the handle for easy hanging or carrying as well as a button to open it up.
Exclusive! Pixie Dust Gem Soap by Leeloo Soap
This soap is not scented that I can tell, but its charm is in its beautiful design! This soap looks like a real multi-faceted gemstone and is filled with "pixie dust" in the form of some green sparkles. This soap contains coconut oil and olive oil so, in addition to leaving your hands feeling clean, it also leaves them feeling soft and moisturized!
Exclusive! Monthly Enamel Pin by Ink & Wonder Designs
In every box, you will receive an exclusive collectible enamel pin that is inspired by that month's book. This silver one features a nice bright phoenix and has two pins on the back to keep it secure.
MARCH THEME SPOILER:
The theme for March will be Murder & Mayhem and our book will be a blend of fantasy, science fiction, and murder mystery. This definitely sounds intriguing! Plus each subscriber will receive an exclusive travel mug designed by Catarina Book Designs!
Verdict: Wow! I usually review OwlCrate Jr which is one of my favorite subs due to the exclusive items and expert curation, but this box just blew me away, as it took those both to another level! Every item in this box was so exclusive and designed just to fit within our theme starting with the special edition cover of our (signed!) book with stained pages. Then, we received an exclusive edition graphic novel as well as not one, but two rather large and exclusive Harry Potter items, which is awesome. The hat is such incredible quality, too and that umbrella is just the perfect amount of whimsy for a rainy day. These stellar items make the bookmark, keychain, enamel pin, and that fun pixie dust soap all feel like bonuses! Since everything was so exclusive (did I mention that, yet? haha) it is hard to estimate the total value, but it has to be well over the box cost of $36.98 ($29.99 + $6.99 US Shipping). I feel like I lucked out with this being my first box and I'm excited to see how they top this one!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, subscriptions are now open for the March box.
Coupon - Use coupon code WELCOME10 to save 10% off your first month!
Value Breakdown: This box costs $29.99 + $6.99 shipping, which means that each of the 8 items in the box has an average cost of $4.63.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you think of OwlCrate?