Wednesday, 23 December 2015

OWLCRATE REVIEW: WE'RE OFFICIALLY WIZARDS (OR ARE WE?)

'Tis the season... to attempt to stick twelve Christmas trees in your living room and decorate them with a levitating charm. 'Tis also the season for owl post. Much as we hold out hope for Christmas letters with our initial(s) and a certain wax-sealed letter of admission into a certain magic school, once again it all seems for naught. (Or this is all an elaborate lie and we're in the Great Hall as we speak type.)

Do not despair for us yet, friends! Because this particular season we've gotten an OwlCrate box each from a certain someone whose name rhymes with menace, and whose gifts are irreparably on the extravagant side. And it's almost as good as the twelve Christmas trees.

Almost.*

* That's okay, though. We suspect the OwlCrate staff agrees with us. Nothing really beats Christmas at Hogwarts. Except full-time attendance of Hogwarts. Which we are definitely not attending. Definitely. Scout's honor.


Given that our boxes were a generous holiday gift from a friend, this review/overview/fangirly session is in no way sponsored by OwlCrate, nor any Owl Association of the world. Though we are partial to Hedwig and the plight of all owls who brave this harsh climate to deliver our presents to us at this time of the year.



OwlCrate, to whom it may concern, is a monthly subscription box which may or may not be delivered by an actual owl. (We are not at liberty to disclose this information, as per Clause 73 of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.) Each month a recently-released hardcover YA novel is flown delivered to your doorstep. The novel, along with all the other bookish fandom goodies in the box, is picked to suit the theme of each month.

November's theme? Myths and legends.

Our permanent life theme? Myths and legends. And fantasy. And dragons. And Nutella.

So, basically, this OwlCrate theme ticked 4/5 of those boxes. And off we go.



OwlCrate also personalizes their spoilery cards each month, in entirely delightful ways. Lexie is currently looking into who to bribe to become their designer. As mentioned above, we have dragons and Nutella. We're a shoe-in for any bribeworthy position. These cards, we are convinced, are one of those things that will help natural selection in weeding out the weak from the strong. The strong eat the pizza crust, start uprisings and save OwlCrate cards. They will survive the apocalypse. The weak, well... a zombie's gotta eat. So long and thanks for all the brains.



These owls (or people?) obviously know us. They know us well, too. We were of the opinion that a Myths and Legends fantasy-themed box can't possibly go without including Hogwarts. Physical Hogwarts would have been lovely, but *gasp*. This necklace is the next best thing. It's a locket. It opens. And if you listen really, really quietly and do the shell-to-the-ear thing, you may hear Halsey singing to the King of Adarlan about getting off that throne already, old man. Halsey/Celaena/Aelin is headed straight for the castle. (The Halsey thing is possibly a lie. Just possibly.)

As fantasy-devourers, we are biased. But basically, we intend to take this necklace off never. It was made by the obvious wizards talented people over at The Geeky Cauldron. And we respectfully salute them.




Is it a fish? Is it gillyweed? It's a mermaid mirror! Because what better myth than that of the merepeople who live right there in the lake and occasionally kidnap underage kids. Every year we plan on hosting Mermaid May, when we marathon a bundle of mermaid-related books just before the summer. And every year we conveniently forget when it comes around. Perhaps, with this mirror in tow, it can finally be different. Perhaps. One can dream of proper organization skills. And one does. Frequently.

The mermaid mirror of loveliness (unofficial title) is made by Kirsty Young over at My Clockwork Castle. The store is closed for Christmas, but you can try knocking. Or a knock-knock joke. Those are better for your screen. I mean, we all know that sometimes closed stores hide secret passageways into various important *cough* Ministries.*

* Spoiler alert: if you are wondering when we'll stop with the Harry Potter segues on this blog, the answer is never.




This is not our world, not really. This is Rick Riordan's world, and we're just living in it. And what better theme to include Rick's world-famous series about demigod children of the Greek gods than in this box? NO TIME. This is the perfect time. Especially given Rick's announcement of another series revolving around Camp Half-Blood, and given his recent release of the first in the Magnus Chase series. 

We're all a little demigod inside. Some just more than others. And the whizzes who made this wristband over at The Colorful Geek are the demigod-est of us all.




The tea, though. The tea! British as she is, Natalie is of the opinion that tea cures all things save the dragon pox. The inclusion of tea in this box was therefore a bit of a dream. Given the setting of the book (coming next), it was also a bit of a foregone conclusion. And look at its absolute gorgeousness! It's almost a shame to actually brew when the packaging is so divine. Can we keep it as a pet?

Natalie, unfortunately, did not get to keep hers as a pet. Depending on the box, several different kinds of fairytale-inspired tea blends were included. As Murphy would have it, the kind Natalie got (the Red Riding Hood blend) contained cinnamon. Natalie dislikes cinnamon. A battle to the death between herself and cinnamon ensued. (Since we're still here, you can imagine who won.)

The Sleeping Beauty fruity blend (pictured above) is an actual fairytale, though. It tastes like nectar and salt. Nectar and salt and apples.  Pollen and stars and hinges. It tastes like fairy tales. Swan maiden at midnight. Cream on the top of a fox's tongue. It tastes like hope. And the tin containers are divine. More, Adagio Teas! More! (They also have Harry Potter tea blends, in case this paragraph was missing a HP reference.)



And lastly, the book! Soundless is, if the blurb is to be believed, a standalone (yes, please!) fantasy novel (yes, please!) steeped in Chinese folklore (yes, please!) - thus the myths and legends theme. Yes, please! While our relationship with Richelle Mead's novels has been non-existent (Natalie) or rocky (Lexie) in the past, Soundless sounds a tiny little bit like perfection. Watch out for a review coming very, very soon.


We love you too, OwlCrate. Hedwig power!




We heard it through the owl network that the theme of January's box is magic, and that it will contain a newly-released YA fantasy novel. (We then proceeded to melt into a puddle of YES.) We've already hedged our bets by assuming everything that will be out in the upcoming month. A list of our most anticipated winter releases was posted yesterday, and we are hopeful. One of those? More of those? All of those? (A wizard person can dream.)

What's your guess, fellow fantasy lovers? (There may or may not be Nutella brownies in it for you if you guess correctly.) Let us know in the comments below! And we're also on social media, where we ramble, plot, and take over the world via subliminal messages. The usual.

And once again the WORLD'S LARGEST THANK-YOU (you can't take it all in at once, it's too large to behold) to our dear friend Dennis for our boxes. You are entirely too generous for your own good.


2 comments:

  1. If only I didn't have to practically sell my soul in order to pay for shipping on these boxes. I don't think owls like flying to Australia. We need to get a handle on some delivery dropbears or something.

    ANYWAY, HP references are A+, I approve. A paragraph is clearly wasted if it doesn't have one.

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  2. I KNOW, RIGHT? These are so WONDERFUL and so WONDERFULLY out of either of our price range. We were just ridiculously fortunate to have a ridiculously generous friend with a gift-buying problem. But as Europeans who get charged more in shipping than the cost of an item itself - WE FEEL YOU, AUSTRALIA. <3

    "A paragraph without a HP reference is a wasted paragraph" is a quote that needs to be immortalized!

    - Lexie

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