It’s A Kind of Magic: A July Illumicrate Unboxing! (SPOILERS!)

Posted August 30, 2019 by Amber in Unboxings / 2 Comments


Good morning everyone!

I’m back with another Illumicrate unboxing!  I’vegot to say – this month I had no idea what was coming.  The spoiler seemed promise me witchy vibes, so I braced myself for one of my favorite themes and crossed my fingers that “It’s a Kind of Magic” would deliver.

This post is in no way sponsored.  I have a six-month Illumicrate subscription and I just choose to share these unboxing here on the blog because I love seeing unboxing posts if I’m thinking about subscribing to something, so… if you’re thinking about Illumicrate, here’s an example!

As for the specs…

  • There are 1 (full box only), 3, and 6-month subscriptions.
  • You can sign up for the full box (£26.00 + shipping/mo.), or the book-only option (£49.00 + shipping/3mo.)
  • There are also debut boxes, a special pin subscription, virtual book signings w/ special edition books, and special edition boxes.
  • Boxes contain an exclusive edition of the book and 4-6 additional items.
  • Boxes ship by the 20th of the month.

Alrighty, lets get to business!


Folded at the top of the box is our first item!  This heavyweight tote bag is based on Uprooted by Naomi Novik and designed by Rudebeetle.  While I have Spinning Silver, I haven’t read Uprooted yet.  One one hand, I appreciate this item because it’s a different fandom than usually comes in a book box.  On the other hand… the print quality on this tote is really bad.  It looks like an iron-on print.  And it’s a super shame because the design is great, but the print quality ruined this for me – the lighter color is not a design choice… it’s just poor production.

Item #2 is another one that has become pretty popular in book boxes with the surge of enamel pin popularity:  a canvas pin banner.  As far as pin banners go, this one themed after Susan Dennard’s The Witchlands series.  I like that it doesn’t feel so incredibly themed that you could only possibly use it for one thing!  I’m holding on to this item just in case I ever decide to put together a mini pin collection / run out of space n my French pin board.  It’s not a *love* item, but it’s a decent one!


Illumicrate includes a collectible magnetic coin in every box.  The tagline on this one was simply: “Featuring one of our favorite dark magic wielders.”  Someone tell me who this is!! I honestly have no idea.  This isn’t a Harry Potter character – help! I’m not this clever.

Illumicrate works with Fable and Black for their enamel pins, which is the best because their designs are fantastic.  This pin, clearly inspired by A Discovery of Witches, is my favorite item in the box.  Also, Illumicrate gets points for using a fandom I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.


For this box, Nicole Deal created a stained-glass style print featuring the trio from Wicked Saints.  Artistically this is a cool design and I appreciate the art… but I don’t love it?  Art is one of those objective things, so I’m sure others would love it more!  I actually did look into her portfolio and I like Nicole’s art, so regardless of whether or not you like her Wicked Saints print, take a peek at her page!

Illumicrate’s big “ahhh this is our exciting big unique item!” item is something called “Ceramic Book Pot“.  It’s a cool design, created by artist Chatty Nora but finding a purpose for it is… complicated.  My first thought was “planter”! but there’s no holes.  Then I was like, “vase?” but it’s only about 6″ tall.  Ultimately, it has become a holder for all my cool buttons.  Other than the ambiguous purpose, my only complaint is that Illumicrate spoiled this item in YALC photos.  I guess that’s my fault for watching their social media. XD


Also included in this month’s box is the other half of the June’s bookend set.  I did all my complaining about splitting this item into two boxes in my unboxing for June, so I won’t go into that again.  This is a basic black metal bookend, but this time it’s cut out in a fantasy design as opposed to just bookishness. They’ve made the bookend themed to both the individual boxes, which is pretty cool at least.

The book this month was Sanctuary by V. V. James.  As I am completely unfamiliar with this book and this author, I have no expectations!  Here’s the Goodreads summary!

The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.

Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.

Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?

As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .


So that’s where the witchy vibe comes from – what do you think about the book?

As far as Illumicrate goes, this is not one of my most favorite boxes.  There are a couple items I would consider useable, but nothing that really stands out as OMG SQUEE I LOVE IT SO MUCH.  The pin is good, but the pins are always good, so I’m jaded, guys!

If I’m being really honest, I’m a bit over Illumicrate.  I’ll still squeal about their special edition boxes, but overall I feel like this was a more formidable box when it was a quarterly box instead of a month one.  I only have one month left on this subscription and it feels like a good time to say goodbye.


What item did you like best this month?  Even though I wasn’t head-over-heels for anything, I did appreciate some of the variety in fandom that was used.  The most popular thing here was Wicked Saints, and that hasn’t been overused quite yet.  Let me know your faves in the comments!

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2 responses to “It’s A Kind of Magic: A July Illumicrate Unboxing! (SPOILERS!)

  1. The problem I have with book boxes is that I don’t ultimately love everything that is included, but I would have loved this Illumicrate box for that A Discovery of Witches pin. It’s one of my all-time favourite trilogies and I have never seen any fandom-related items for it, which is a shame but probably a huge blessing for my purse!
    Saying that, I’ve never ordered an Illumicrate box before. However, I have come to the same conclusion with the subscription box I’ve sometimes ordered. My problem is that they repeatedly use the same fandoms and 90% of the time, they’re ones I don’t like! I’m also not reading the books so I don’t see the point in ordering them anymore.

    • Amber

      That’s definitely what I’m running into. That, and after having subscriptions on and off for two full years… the novelty is starting to wear off. I like getting the mail and that sometimes they force me out of my comfort zone and it’s really great… but yeah same? I had so many ARCs earlier this year, it was months since I read a physical book, so they were all piling up and it feels wasteful.