Unboxing & Review: Illumicrate – April 2021 – Dearly Departed

Hey all! A few months ago I completely drafted up this post, but I never got around to posting it! I figured that people might still benefit from seeing this older unboxing (especially since I always encourage people to look at a company’s previous unboxings in order to form an opinion,) so here it is! All of the text below is exactly what I wrote back then. Please enjoy!

It’s finally here!!!! Back in March, Illumicrate opened up for new subscriptions, starting with their April box, which I really wanted due to the theme and book. The experience of getting a subscription spot was an absolute bloodbath – the website kept crashing and my payment wouldn’t go through for a while, but I somehow managed to secure a subscription!

Even though I’ve been getting book boxes since August 2018, this is actually my first Illumicrate box, which made the unboxing experience even more exciting! Did it live up to my expectations? Keep reading to see what was in the box and what I thought about it!


Book of the Dead Book Pot (designed by @chattynora)

Nevernight – “Too Many Books” Canvas Organizer (designed by @rosdottir)

The Beautiful – Jacques’ Glass Mason Jar (designed by @thatlovelydearshop)

Gideon the Ninth – “Gloom Mistress and Griddle” Magnets (designed by @_saintdri)

Dread Nation – Sickle Keychain (designed by @Palaceofresin)

Monthly Enamel Pin (designed by @stacey.mcevoy.caunt)

In the Ravenous Dark by A.M. Stickland (exclusive endpages designed by @lilith_saur)

Author Letter/Preorder Print & Preorder Bookmarks


As mentioned earlier, this was my first Illumicrate box, and they set the bar quite high for me with this box! I didn’t care for all of the items, but despite that, I still feel that the value was there, and I was quite pleased! I’ll give my thoughts on each individual item below.

Book Pot: Illumicrate has been including these gorgeous book pots in their boxes for a while now. (I think that there are 5 or 6 out now, including this one.) It’s ceramic and quite substantial. In keeping with the monthly theme, this one is themed “Book of the Dead” and makes references to necromancy, resurrection, immortality, and the underworld. It’s so cute, and this will definitely be living on my bookshelf with my other book shaped items!

Canvas Organizer: This is a very unique item! First, although I’ve yet to read Nevernight, I love the design and the “Too Many Books, Too Few Centuries,” quote, which is so relatable! The bold tattoo-esque art style really speaks to me, and I love that the design continues into the bag as a border. My only complaint is that it doesn’t have a stiff bottom, so it flops over a bit, but I can easily make one. Either way, once books are in it, there should be no problem.

Glass Mason Jar: Okay, fun fact: I love Mason jars. No matter the shape or size, I’ll love it. Naturally, I squealed when I saw this Mason jar in the box! The design is quite simple, and I wish that it were larger or more spread out over the glass. I also wish that it came with a lid, and maybe a straw, but either way I’m glad to have a new Mason jar glass to sip lemonade out of during the summer.

Magnets: I haven’t read Gideon or Harrow the Ninth yet. The art is nice, but since I don’t know these characters, the magnets really don’t appeal to me. I’ll probably just slap them on my book cart for the time being, or I might pass them off to a friend.

Sickle Keychain: I haven’t read Dread Nation either. I do like the quote on the keychain, but it’s so tiny! I could barely read it with my naked eye, let alone capture it on camera for this post. I wish they had made it much bigger. I already have enough keychains on my main keyring, but I might use this as a zipper pull on a bag instead.

Enamel Pin: I love enamel pins, and I also love skulls, so this is a match made in heaven! I love that it borrows the poppy flowers from the front cover of the book and creates an adorable skull! It’s simple but beautiful and elegant.

In the Ravenous Dark: This was my main reason for getting the box, and I am not disappointed at all! The floral stenciled edges are so pretty, and I love that they match the flowers on the book cover! I do wish that the top and bottom of the book were stained the same red as the flowers, but oh well! I still like it a lot. The endpaper art is quite pretty as well, and I can’t wait to start reading to learn more about the characters depicted there. I really enjoyed the author’s other book, Beyond the Black Door, so I have high hopes for this one! Also, the preorder print (which is on the other side of the author letter) and preorder bookmarks were an exciting bonus! They’re all stunning, and as I girl who’s obsessed with Alphone Mucha’s art style, I absolutely swooned when I saw the bookmarks!

All-in-all, I thought that this was a great box, especially for it to be my first Illumicrate box! I’ll definitely be keeping my subscription, and you’ll probably see more Illumicrate unboxings throughout the summer and fall of this year! I’d give this box 4.5 stars. I’m taking off a half star for the magnets and keychain, which felt like cheaper filler items to me, but luckily the gorgeous book, book pot, and organizer help to balance the box back out.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Thanks for reading! What did you think of this box? Let me know in the comments below!

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