Unboxing & Review: Faecrate – September 2020 – Alliance

Hello everyone! Faecrate has been a box that I’ve heard things about for a long time, both good and bad. I personally knew of their box from the spectacular Wicked King Hangover Recovery Crateback in 2018. However, I heard many conflicting reviews from fellow book lovers about their monthly boxes, so I always just kept pushing Faecrate to the back-burner and made my own assumptions about it. It became one of the few more popular boxes that I had yet to try.

September 2020 changed all of that. I subscribed early to secure my spot to get the October Box, which will contain a Feyre plushie! (Read more about my simple decision to get that box here.) I wasn’t exactly dying to get this box, but I did, and now it’s time to unbox and review what’s inside. Were the rumors true? Was I wrong about Faecrate? Keep scrolling to find out.


Unboxing

Lord of the Rings Felt Bookmark Set (designed by Reading.Revelry)

Red Rising Bucket Organizer Light/Charger

Stolen Songbird Speaker

Dystopian Face Mask

Warcross Wall Hanging

We Hunt the Flame Polaroid (designed by Icandrawthingz)

A Song Below Water Art Print/Spoiler Card (designed by Gabriella Bujdoso)

Book: The Blackstone Ritual by Swearingen Durham (Emboss design by Noverantale, and Reversible dust jacket and cover design by Gabriella Bujdoso. Comes with Signed Bookplate from both the cover designer and the author)

You can also watch my full unboxing IGTV video on my Instagram page, which features close ups and different angles of each item!


Review

Ok, I’ve got to admit…. this box wasn’t bad. Not my favorite, of course, but it definitely wasn’t terrible and was better than I expected. I’m going to put all of the items in bold as they’re discussed in case you’re only interested in a few things. (I can already tell that this might be a long one!)

Right off the bat, I like that Faecrate lists the spoiler card art print and Polaroid as items, but they’re not really included in the 5 items of the box. I like this, as I know that some boxes will count prints and small paper items as items. These paper items are printed on nice paper and are quite nice to look at. I haven’t read We Hunt the Flame yet but it’s an upcoming read on my never-ending TBR, so I’ll hold onto the Polaroid along with my other We Hunt the Flame merch from other boxes.

Let’s talk about the tech items, the speaker and the organizer bucket/charger/light. I’m usually not the biggest fan of tech items in boxes, as I know from most times, these products come from companies that make “promotional items.” (Think of pens stamped with a companies name, or a free stress ball with the company logo.) A lot of these sites often sell tech gadgets and other things as well, and I suspect that that’s where Faecrate gets some of their items. (I actually found the listing for the speaker on a site! In bulk they’re super cheap.) While there’s nothing wrong with buying from these companies and paying to get a bookish logo or quote slapped on, my issue is with the quality and design of these items. Many only have a small designated area where the design can be placed, which is probably why the speaker and organizer bucket just have small areas where they’re designed. This makes them look cheap (and almost fandom-less) in my eyes, which is further seen when you look at the outdated aux cord of the speaker (most speakers are Bluetooth these days, as many phones don’t have headphone jacks anymore) and the micro USB port of the bucket thing. The speaker was pretty quiet and was barely louder than my tablet’s speakers, so I won’t get any use out of it. While getting tech/light up items can be fun (especially for younger subscribers) I’m just not a fan.

When Faecrate announced that they’d be including a reusable face mask, I was excited as I actually don’t own one of my own (I’ve barely gone out since March!) However, I’m not a fan of the design on this one. It’s quite bright, and while I think it’s kind of funny, it would probably clash with my outfits more than I’d care for. That’s the struggle with getting fashion items in boxes: they’re either perfect for your style, or not at all.

The Warcross wall hanging is nice. I haven’t read the books yet (they’re on the never-ending TBR), but I bet if I liked them, I’d probably like this wall hanging. The design isn’t anything super gorgeous, but knowing that Warcross is a scifi video game book, I can dig the design, and I like the quote. I also like that it’s a smaller wall hanging, as I already have two LARGE tapestries hanging in my room and as a result have very little space for more posters and wall hangings. I’ll probably hang this up soon even though I haven’t read the book yet, because I think it’ll go well in the starry sci-fi-esque area of my room. The more I look at it, the more it almost looks like a movie poster!

The bookmarks are honestly quite gorgeous! However they’re quite thick due to the felt material and definitely would’t lay well in a book without messing up the spine, which is a shame because the design is quite pretty and the colors are perfect for fall. I’ll still keep them for display/bookstagram purposes because they’re beautiful, but I wish that the Faecrate team had checked the quality of these before ordering them in bulk and shipping them out. For a company that regularly sends out special editions, they should know that their subscribers really care about things like this.

Speaking of special editions, let’s talk about the book itself! Faecrate really went all out on this one, from the embossing on both sides of the book to the shiny gold sprayed edges and alternative dust jacket. The author is married to one of the owner’s of Faecrate, so I’m not too surprised by the special features! (I know that some people thought that his close association to the box was a bit sketchy, but idk, they did disclose it in their book reveal post and considering that Faecrate’s featured a lot of smaller authors lately, I’m not too surprised.) I’ve heard mixed reviews about the book itself, but I’ll wait to form my own opinion on it.

All-in-all, my first experience with Faecrate wasn’t too bad! The book (which is the main part of a book subscription box was gorgeous and totally exclusive which was great. I can’t necessarily speak to how well the items (or even the book itself) match the theme, Alliance, very well, as I’m not familiar with most of them and the spoiler card doesn’t describe how they fit together. I’ll give this box 3 stars (I was tempted to do 2.5, but the pretty book made me bump it up.)The book itselfthe fun wall hanging and the design of the bookmarks were great, but I’m taking away stars for the thickness of the bookmark, my whole rant paragraph about tech items, and the design of the mask.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Thanks for reading! I hope you liked my unboxing and review. I tried to keep it positive, but also accurate to my feelings and opinions. Let me know what you think of this box in the comments below.


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