Image borrowed from Illumicrate Twitter
I want to post a review on the three special edition Muse of Nightmares boxes I have purchased from subscription box companies: Behind the Pages, Illumicrate and LitJoy. I was planning on doing one post including all reviews, but due to delays I have decided to separate them.
I will post links to other box reviews on the posts once they have gone up.
This review is for the special edition of Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares from Illumicrate. This review contains spoilers. All reviews will be an honest review. Reviews include comments on content, price and postage.
Illumicrate: Exclusive Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares editions
Summary: This is not, and was never marketed as an Illumicrate subscription box. Illumicrate was clear about this fact. This purchase was for exclusive special metallic editions of Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares. Each purchase also came with an exclusive bonus item from the publisher and art print.
Cost: $135.00 approx total. (£50.00GBP for books, £24.99GBP for shipping)
- Exclusive edition of Strange the Dreamer
- Exclusive edition of Muse of Nightmares
- Dream journal
Thoughts on contents: These items are stunning and a must have for any Laini fan. The books are beautiful collectors editions and the goodies included make my heart so happy. The quality is definitely what I would expect from Illumicrate and they certainly cater to true fans!
Shipment time: 24 days
Thoughts on shipment: As an international customer, I have to say the shipment was lacking in my experience. The trackin is not great, there are barely any updates, and it it took so long for me to receive the items compared to other items I have purchased from the UK. Standard delivery time tends to be approx 10 days, and this one took 24 days. Although a friend of mine did get hers in 12 days.
Overall thoughts: As a massive Laini fan, I loved everything about this purchase, even though I didn’t get a low number of the numbered Muse of Nightmares lol. The only thing that let this down, as an international customer, was the shipping.
Rating: 5/5 for content. 2.5/5 for shipping.
Overall experience on purchasing this box:
I loved this purchase! I absolutely loved the contents and the items were of high quality. It seems Illumicrate always delivers when it comes to quality and they really deliver for fandoms. They clearly put a lot of thought and care into their items/boxes, and even with the expensive international shipping, this makes the cost great value for money.
I was surprised when first seeing these books, as for some reason I was expecting the metallic pages to be like my The Hunger Games set, which has more of a guilded/foil type pages. I don’t know why I thought this, there was no real reason for it, just an assumption I had come to. But the pages on these special edition Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares are more subtle, more shimmery. I actually enjoy the subtlety of them.
The art print included, by Lesya Blackbirdink is stunning! Lesya is my favourite artist for Strange the Dreamer artwork, and I adore all the details in this print. And I love the inclusion of other characters, not just our beloved Lazlo and Sarai. Although I know it wasn’t possible due to the size of the box, I would have loved for this print to be larger – just because it is so beautiful. There is nothing wrong with the size – I would just like a supersized version! I also really liked the dream journal included. This was a product from the publisher, and it was also shimmery and pretty :)
The only thing that let it down for me was the shipping. I loved the fact that Illumicrate sent an email prior to shipment advising it is being prepared and to check delivery details. This was important to me as I was advised by Illumicrate they deliver via courier and I have a PO Box so I had to ensure it was being delivered to my work address (which is not really serviced by Australia Post). A few days later I received a tracking email. Even though I was assured by Illumicrate the items are delivered by courier, the item was delivered by Australia Post (luckily the delivery person left a card that didn’t get lost, which is what normally happens when they go to the wrong part of the building).
The tracking used by Illumicrate is not great. There are barely any updates, and when there are, it doesn’t actually say where this happened. ie it will say “Parcel sorted in sorting centre” or ” The item is on transport to the local sorting centre” – but you don’t know where that was. The carrier they use have a sub-par tracking system in my opinion. And for the price of shipment I do expect more. I found you get slightly more details via other tracking services such as parcelmonitor.com or 17track.net.And it is not tracked within Australia, even via Australia Post. It seems that this item went somewhere else (I think the Netherlands) prior to being sent to Australia, so all in all, it took a week to get on its way to Australia. After the unnecessary week in transit (in my opinion) my purchase took 13 additional days to get to Australia. I find this excessive. My box, dispatched on 5 October (Aus timezone), it arrived in Australia on 24 October and finally arrived to me on 29 October. Please know, a friend who lives in my area got their purchase on 17 October,so maybe it was just bad luck on my part (although I have had other Aussie’s say that Illumicrate shipping time/tracking isn’t fantastic to Australia).
I have provided this feedback to Illumicrate and it was well received. I hope at some stage in the future they change carrier for international purchases at least – as Illumicrate always seem to have amazing boxes, especially their special edition boxes. International shipping can be tricky, but a carrier with a decent tracking system can ease a lot of stress for a customer. Please note this experience may have been exasperated by my issues with another delivery, so I was very anxious about not knowing where my box was.
Shipment issues aside, I do not regret this purchase in any way and the items will take pride of place in my Laini collection! Due to the quality of items, I would buy from Illumicrate again for special boxes.
Location: I am based in Australia, so comments relating to shipping are based on that. I am located in nearly the furthest place possible, for both Australian and internationally based boxes. So this would be a good estimate based on worst case scenario.
Shipping: I know once the item has left the subscription box companies hand, it is out of their control. But they have chosen these carriers, so there is an element of this that does reflect on the company. I do not attribute the delivery itself to the company, either positive or negative, but I do judge them based on who they choose to use. I also know that these companies have limited control over pricing of shipment, as they are set by the carriers and the only choice the company has is which carrier they choose (which sometimes is limited).
Price: All prices are in AUD unless otherwise stated.
Disclaimer: I am friends with two owners of the companies from which I have made these purchases. I did however pay for these boxes and the fact I am friends with the company owner has has not impacted my review in any way. Money talks people.
Other Muse of Nightmares subscription boxes reviews:
Do you get subscription boxes? Do you love them