Category Archives: Book Box Subscriptions

My Chronicle Book Box Unboxing – November 2018

It’s been a while since I treated myself to a subscription box, but I’ve had my eye on My Chronicle Book Box for some time now, having seen the lovely unboxings from:

I think that it was only a matter of time until I purchased one.

My Chronicle Book Box (you can find out more here) provide a quarterly subscription box containing three books as well as carefully selected (and often exclusive) goodies.  One of the things that attracted me to this box is that you can choose either a Crime and Mystery themed box, or a Science Fiction and Fantasy box.  I chose the Science Fiction and Fantasy box, and it arrived at the end of last week.

Please note that if you are expecting your own My Chronicle Book Box then this post does contain spoilers as to the books and goodies included!

My Chronicle Book Box contained three books as well as some little treats including:

MCBB4 - Nov18

An exclusive candle from Bookworm Candle and Crafts.  This smells divine, and I love the inscription on the lid which says

In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.

I think that this is a lovely sentiment, and I’m looking forward to lighting the candle and curling up with a good book on a cold, dark, and maybe even snowy evening.  And check out those sparkles on top! ❤

The second item I opened was a poster featuring the Rose from Nicholas Eames’s Bloody Rose.  This was created by book cover artist Felix Ortiz, and is an exclusive design that is not available to purchase elsewhere.

MCBB3 - Nov18

I think that this is a gorgeous print, and it ties in neatly with one of the books in box!

There was also a sampler for A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher which is published in 2019 and a book mark / 2019 calendar.

And now for the books.  When unpacking a book box, I always leave the books until last.

MCBB6 - Nov18The first book I unwrapped was Bloody Rose by Nicholas Eames.  I’ve heard good things about this novel as well as Kings of the Wyld – the first in the series, although Bloody Rose can apparently be read as a standalone – so I’m really looking forward to this!


Tam Hashford is tired of working at her local pub, slinging drinks for world-famous mercenaries and listening to the bards sing of adventure and glory in the world beyond her sleepy hometown.

When the biggest mercenary band of all rolls into town, led by the infamous Bloody Rose, Tam jumps at the chance to sign on as their bard. It’s adventure she wants and adventure she gets as the crew embark on a quest that will end in one of two ways: glory or death.


MCBB7 - Nov18

The second book I unwrapped was Rosewater by Tade Thompson.  I’ve been itching to read this for some time now, so I was delighted that it was included in the box!


Rosewater is a town on the edge. A community formed around the edges of a mysterious biodome, its residents comprise the hopeful, the hungry and the helpless – people eager for a glimpse inside the dome or a taste of its rumoured healing powers.

Kaaro is a government agent with a criminal past. He has seen inside the biodome, and doesn’t care to again – but when something begins killing off others like himself, Kaaro must defy his masters to search for an answer, facing his dark history and coming to a realisation about a horrifying future.

MCBB8 - Nov18The third book in the box was Early Riser by Jasper Fforde.  I’m a big Jasper Fforde fan, and unfortunately I do already have a copy of this novel, so either someone is getting this for Christmas this year, or I may run a giveaway at some point.  It certainly won’t go to waste!


Every Winter, the human population hibernates. 

During those bitterly cold four months, the nation is a snow-draped landscape of desolate loneliness, and devoid of human activity.

Well, not quite.

Your name is Charlie Worthing and it’s your first season with the Winter Consuls, the committed but mildly unhinged group of misfits who are responsible for ensuring the hibernatory safe passage of the sleeping masses.

You are investigating an outbreak of viral dreams which you dismiss as nonsense; nothing more than a quirky artefact borne of the sleeping mind.

When the dreams start to kill people, it’s unsettling.

When you get the dreams too, it’s weird.

When they start to come true, you begin to doubt your sanity.

But teasing truth from Winter is never easy: You have to avoid the Villains and their penchant for murder, kidnapping and stamp collecting, ensure you aren’t eaten by Nightwalkers whose thirst for human flesh can only be satisfied by comfort food, and sidestep the increasingly less-than-mythical WinterVolk.

But so long as you remember to wrap up warmly, you’ll be fine.

Overall, I’m really impressed with My Chronicle Book Box.  Whilst I do already have one of the books it contained, it confirms that this is a box that suits my tastes, and I’m really excited by the other two books included, particularly Rosewater which has been on my wish list for quite some time now.  I liked that each book came with a signed bookplate from the author, and there were also exclusive interviews with Nicholas Eames and Tade Thompson.  The items were beautifully packed, and I’m really pleased with the quality of the additional goodies.  I’ll definitely be purchasing another My Chronicle book Box 🙂


Mini Ninja Book Box Unboxing – Nov 17

November 2017 marks the one year anniversary of the Ninja Book Box, and having been one of the backers of this initiative on Kickstarter, I couldn’t resist the first year anniversary box, particularly with the theme of “Into the Future” was revealed, which plays to my interests.

I choose the mini box, which proved to be overloaded with goodies for Ninja Book Box’s first birthday.

I always leave the book until last, so I’ll start with the goodies that were included.  The first items I came across were a set of items from Fox Spirit Books, which included a mirror, a bottle opener, and a pin badge.  The mirror is a perfect size to chuck in your bag when heading out, and I don’t think I’ve left home without it since I got it!

The second item I came across was an ozone, citrus, and sea glitter soap from Geeky Clean, which sounds absolutely lovely!

Also in this box was a Ninja mask, which came with the following instructions:

  1. Take a photo of it with any of our Ninja Book Box / Book Club books and / or anything else indie book related
  2. Take a photo of yourself wearing the mask and reading a book.  If you’re especially brave do this somewhere totally random (the beach, coffee shop etc.)
  3. Wear the mask around your house and jump out at people (not when they’re carrying hot drinks) shouting ‘Ninja!’

I did put the mask on when it arrived, but my other half didn’t look too impressed, so I quickly took it off again!  Now to put it on and jump out at him when he’s not expecting it… 😉

Each Ninja Book Box also includes a themed charm, and I loved this box’s little space themed charm!

And now for the book.  As Ninja Book Box began on Kickstarter, the book chosen for this month’s box was also a Kickstarter project: 2084 published by Unsung Stories.

NBB Nov17 5

Fifteen predictions, seventy years in the future. By 2084 the world we know is gone. These are stories from our world seven decades later.

In 1948 George Orwell looked at the world around him and his response was 1984, now a classic dystopian novel. Here fifteen writers asked themselves the same question as Orwell did – where are we going, and what is our future?

Visit the dark corners of the future metropolis, trek the wastelands of all that remains. See the world through the eyes of drones. Put humanity on trial as the oceans rise. Say goodbye to your body as humanity merges with technology.

Warnings or prophesies? Paradise or destruction? Will we be proud of what we have achieved, in 2084?

Our future unfolds before us.

The risk of including a novel that began as a Kickstarter project is that buyers of the box will have also backed the Kickstarter project, and so it proved to be the case for me!  However, I can’t honestly complain too much, as I now have two versions of the cover with the view from inside the window as well as outside!

NBB Nov17 6

I think that this mini box was excellent value for money given the book and the gifts included, and I can’t wait to see what the theme for the next box is!

Ninja Book Box Unboxing – A Grand Adventure

Ninja Book Box is a quarterly subscription box that specialises in books from independent publishers.  I’ve received two boxes, and you can see my unboxings here:

I’ve really enjoyed the two boxes I’ve received so far, and love the themed gifts that are chosen to go along with the books, all of which have been of excellent quality.

For the summer, Ninja Book Box have added a new package to their product offering, centred around the theme of A Grand Adventure. These boxes aren’t available as part of the regular subscription package and need to be purchased separately, and rather than containing one book plus gifts, they contain three books!  These can be books aimed at adults or children or a mix of the two, depending on whether you want to take your family on your adventure with you.  There is also a mini adventure box available, containing a single book.

When I first saw these boxes advertised, I was immediately taken with the idea, and duly purchased a box, which arrived last week:

NBB - grand adventure

Doesn’t it look wonderful!

(Be warned – this next bit contains spoilers!)

Here are the books I received:

Electric Souk by Rose McGinty (Urbane Publications)

Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts? Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.

The Great and the Good by Michel Déon (Gallic Books)

From the acclaimed author of The Foundling Boy comes this new classic set in 1950s America.

Arthur Morgan is aboard the Queen Mary bound for the United States, where a scholarship at an Ivy League university awaits him, along with the promise of a glittering future.

But the few days spent on the ship will have a defining effect on the young Frenchman, when he encounters the love of his life.

Sometime a River Song by Avril Joy (Linen Press)

Set in a river boat community in Arkansas in the 1930s, this poignant story chronicles Aiyana Weir’s spirited determination to break away from a life, like that of the women around her, defined and dominated by brutal patriarchy. Aiyana’s voice, unique, hesitant and uneducated, expresses the turmoil of her inner world through the details and rhythms of her beloved river and charts her secret pursuit of literacy – her only means of escape from the abuse of her father and the indifference of the man to whom she is casually given. Her grandmother, a mythical figure steeped in wisdom and folklore, and her brother, Lyle, are Aiyana’s only allies in her struggle for survival and as shameless plans to leave the river.

I’m really pleased with the books I’ve received, and I love how they all fit in in with the idea of a grand adventure in different ways.  Whilst I’ve heard a little about Electric Souk from other reviewers, the other two books and authors are completely new to me, and I’m really looking forward to diving into these stories which I may not have discovered otherwise.

It’s worth noting that the boxes don’t all contain the same books – four have been selected for the adult box, three of which are shown above.  I am, of course, dying to know what the fourth book is!

In addition to the books, there is also is a little challenge contained within each box to encourage you to take your own adventure and try something new – completing these six tasks wins you an extra little something.  I won’t share what my tasks are right now – I’m not sure if they are the same for all boxes – but they do fit in with the books selected, and I’ll definitely have a go at completing them.

I’m going to be completely honest – I preferred this style of box to those usually offered.  As I’ve said, the gifts contained in the quarterly boxes are wonderful, but for me it’s all about the books, and so getting three themed books was a better option for me personally than one book plus gifts, and I hope that Ninja Book Box decide to offer more of these themed boxes going forward.

You can find out more about Ninja Book Box on their website:

Mini Ninja Book Box Unboxing – Feb 17

I’m a little late with posting my unboxing, but better late than never, right?

You may remember that in November 2016, I received the first Ninja Book Box following their extremely successfully Kickstarter campaign – you can see my unboxing of the first Ninja Book Box here.

When it was announced that the theme for February’s box was “a Shakespearean Mystery”, I was immediately intrigued, and I decided that I would get the Mini Ninja Book Box this time round.

Here is what the mini box gets you:

NBB - Feb17 - 1

Everything in the box is individually (and beautifully) wrapped.  The possible spoilers envelope, and I think that it’s a nice touch that it’s marked as such so that you can choose whether or not you open it straight away, contains a summary of the book along with why it was chosen and suggestions for further reading.

I then opened the blue package, which was the gift included in the box:

NBB - Feb17 - 2

These are three Shakespeare inspired teas:

  • Twelfth Night: A bright blend of wonderful high grade Sencha enhanced by the saltiness from Seabuck Thorn and the blue cornflower reflecting our own fresh sea air and glorious coastline
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A truly wonderful mix of chamomile, lavender and passion flower.  This is a wonderful all natural relaxant that has been known to aid restful sleep
  • Hamlet: A wonderful aromatic Oolong tea, being a gently oxidised leaf, so taking away the slightly bitter taste that you may get from a green tea.  Our particular choice of Oolong is a delicate light leaf, but still with plenty of flavours, with slight hints of peach

I drink green tea at work, but apart from that, I’m not much of a tea drinker.  I will definitely try these, however.

And then there is the book:

NBB - Feb17 - 3

Ninja Book Box specialises in books from independent publishers, and The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett is published by Alma Books.  Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

A mysterious portrait ignites an antiquarian bookseller’s search through time and the works of Shakespeare for his lost love.

Hay-on-Wye, 1995. Peter Byerly isn’t sure what drew him into this particular bookshop. Nine months earlier, the death of his beloved wife, Amanda, had left him shattered. The young antiquarian bookseller relocated from North Carolina to the English countryside, hoping to rediscover the joy he once took in collecting and restoring rare books. But upon opening an eighteenth-century study of Shakespeare forgeries, Peter is shocked when a portrait of Amanda tumbles out of its pages. Of course, it isn’t really her. The watercolour is clearly Victorian. Yet the resemblance is uncanny, and Peter becomes obsessed with learning the picture’s origins.

As he follows the trail back first to the Victorian era and then to Shakespeare’s time, Peter communes with Amanda’s spirit, learns the truth about his own past, and discovers a book that might definitively prove Shakespeare was, indeed, the author of all his plays.

Guaranteed to capture the hearts of everyone who truly loves books, The Bookman’s Tale is a former bookseller’s sparkling novel and a delightful exploration of one of literature’s most tantalising mysteries, with echoes of Shadow of the Wind and A.S. Byatt’s Possession.

The Bookman’s Tale is not one that I’ve come across before, and I’m excited to read it.

Unfortunately, my box came without the little charm that is meant to be included, although they did offer to send me one when they heard about this, which shows what great customer service they offer.

I really like the Ninja Book Box and their dedication to independent publishers.  I think that if I was going to purchase a box in the future, I would go for the full box though – I think it’s worth the additional spend to get the full box and all the wonderful gifts they provide.

You can see unboxings of the full box from fellow bloggers:

And you can find out more about Ninja Book Box at

Ninja Book Box Unboxing – Nov 2016

I love the idea of book subscription boxes – a regular delivery of a (hopefully!) new book, plus a few little gifts based around a theme.  It’s like getting a wonderful bookish present even if it’s not your birthday.  Coincidentally, it is my birthday later in the week, so this was an extremely timely delivery!

Whilst book subscription boxes are becoming more prevalent, I have had a bit of an issue in finding the right one for me, as many – not all – are focussed on young adult novels.  I don’t mind reading young adult novels occasionally, but I’m not enough of a fan to warrant the cost of a regular subscription box.

But now there’s a new book box on the scene.  Following a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, the first Ninja Book Boxes have been released.  Ninja Book Box is a little different to what I’ve seen on the market as it will supply books for a variety of genres whilst promoting indie publishers.

I was suitably intrigued, and supported the Kickstarter campaign, which was the only way to get the first box.  My pledge rewarded me with:

  • The first Ninja Book Box
  • A shortlisted title
  • A bookmark
  • An additional bookish gift

Without further ado, here’s my unboxing of the first Ninja Book Box.  Please note, this does contain spoilers, so feel free to look away now!

Upon opening the box, I was thrilled to see that it was absolutely jampacked!  Showing an unusual amount of restraint, I unpacked everything in the box without opening anything:

What a treasure trove!  I started with the goodies shown on the left, which included:

This beautiful book mark –

ninja-book-box-bookmarkI love the colours and the relatively straightforward design, this is very “me”.

A coaster with a beautiful star print:

ninja-book-box-coasterThis has an excellent quality feel to it, and the back is cork so no danger of scratching the surface it’s placed upon.

A starry nights tea towel (spotted the theme yet!?):

ninja-book-box-teatowelI absolutely love this print – I think it’s really enchanting.

A little frog charm, complete with a lily pad shaped holder:

ninja-book-box-frogThe frog is relevent to the book, and future boxes will each have a charm included that fits in with the theme of the box.

Additionally, there was:

  • A greetings card printed with a colourful Cardiff street map
  • A key ring
  • A recipe for Welsh cakes
  • A little card giving a bit more info about Ninja Book Box, with a thank you to all those that backed it on Kickstarter
  • An interview with the author of the book (to be revealed shortly!) plus a review of the novel

And, of course, the book.  I’m always a little apprehensive about being given books – I read a lot (duh!), so I worry that it will be something I’ve already got, read or even worse, dismissed, so I was delighted to see that it was not only something new to my TBR, but also a title that I’d never heard of!

Published by Seren, this quarter’s book is Star-Shot by Mary -Ann Constantine:

star-shotHere’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

Part fable, part mystery, Star-Shot is a stylish debut novel set in and around Cardiff’s National Museum in a time that is almost, but not quite, our own. As their paths cross in a circumscribed world of benches, parks and galleries, a handful of characters reveal their stories of obsession, loss and recovery, creating a fragile network of relationships which will help to resist the inexorable channels of silence eating into the city.

A brittle young woman sits on a bench in Gorsedd park, conscious of the powerful building behind her; a tall man carries a box full of a strange organic substance up the entrance steps; a young father explains the formation of stars to his tiny son. As university researchers try to map and understand the destructive silence snaking around them, it becomes clear that the linked lives of these and other marginal characters offer ways of countering its effects. Poignant and humorous, Star-Shot is an exploration of how objects and images can focus our grief and desire; it is also a meditation on the regenerative power of garden ponds, and the cosmic significance of frogs.

Beautifully illustrated with woodcut-style motifs by Clive Hicks-Jenkins, this is a subtle urban novel with a supernatural twist.

Then there are the two Kickstarter rewards, which included yet another book that I’d never heard of, as well as a mug thematically matched to the book:

desire-for-chocolateThe synopsis of Desire for Chocolate:

Three women, three centuries and the same porcelain chocolate pot: Sara, the scion of a dynasty of chocolatiers from Barcelona, who prides herself on maintaining the family tradition; Aurora, the daughter of a nineteenth-century maidservant, for whom chocolate is a forbidden luxury; Mariana, the wife of a famous seventeenth-century chocolate manufacturer, an official purveyor to the French court and the inventor of a revolutionary chocolate mill.

In Desire for Chocolate, Care Santos takes us on a spellbinding journey, masterfully juxtaposing the destinies of her protagonists, chronicling the history of our favourite confection and exploring Europe’s changing social norms. Luscious and addictive, this novel will delight the reader’s senses from start to finish.

In case you can’t tell, I’m really pleased with the Ninja Book Box, and I will be subscribing for a regular box.  Due to the Kickstarter campaign, this box did contain more than future boxes will, but I think that the thought that has gone into the box and the themed gifts, as well as the quality of those gifts, makes this a worth-while subscription.

Does this sound like something you might like?  You can find out more about Ninja Book Box on their website: