Owlcrate Review: May 2016 Steampunk Box

Owlcrate is one of several YA book subscription services. The idea is that people can subscribe to Owlcrate (for one, three, or six months at a time) and receive a new box each month including a YA book and some related items. Owlcrate works around a theme each month (which is announced ahead of time) and the book and all related items ascribe to that theme. Like any subscription service there is the option, with enough lead time, to opt out of a month. The service also auto renews unless you manually cancel the service.

I love the idea of Owlcrate but as a reviewer, I get a ton of books so it’s never seemed especially cost effective for me to pay 29.99 (plus shipping) for a subscription box that might include a book I already own. But then a great thing happened and Owlcrate had the option to buy past boxes. Having discovered that I didn’t like the surprise of subscription boxes and also that I prefer to know exactly what I’m paying for, this was the perfect way for me to buy.

I decided to take the plunge with Owlcrate’s May 2016 Steampunk box.

Here’s what it looked like when it showed up:


As you might have guessed, every Owlcrate looks like this when mailed. Their branding is on point and, more importantly, the box is super sturdy so everything arrives in tip top shape.

Inside the box is padded with packing paper and everything is stacked inside:


That top card is a cute piece of art explaining this month’s theme on the other side.

Then we get to the fun things inside which I also shared on Instagram when I first got the box:

Here’s a rundown of what was in the box:

  • Everland by Wendy Spinale: This book is a steampunk Peter Pan retelling. I am always drawn to Peter Pan retellings and I have yet to meet a Steampunk book that I didn’t love so I felt pretty good about this this title. The box also included a letter from the author about the book and a set of gold flash tattoos.
  • Steampunk Nail Wraps from Espionage Cosmetics: I haven’t tried these yet but they look pretty standard and similar to the Sally Hansen Nail Effects stickers that I use all the time. Espionage promises they will last up to two weeks. The set includes a variety of sizes and says they can be peeled off when ready to remove. I love the darker coloring of the nail wraps and the inclusion of gold glitter and gear accents.
  • Peter Pan Print from Creative Daffodil: This print is about the size of a hardcover book and features an image of a clock with Peter Pan’s signature hat. Barrie 1860 – 1937 is written across the bottom. I have always liked clock/clockwork imagery so this print really speaks to me. I also like that it’s small enough to put on a tabletop or wall when it’s framed. You can also get 20% off at Creative Daffodil through August 1 with the code OWLCRATE.
  • Clockwork Angel Ring from Sparks Emporium: This adjustable ring is great (for me) as a pinky or ring finger ring. It features a small print of the Clockwork Angel seen on the cover of Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (the first book in her Infernal Devices trilogy). This ring was a fun addition to the box because I already own a clockwork angel pendant from Hebel Design.
  • Steamworks Winged Gear Pin: There were two designs for Steamworks pins to be had for this box. I got the one with winged gears and I love it. It’s sturdy but lightweight enough to be worn on a variety of materials. It will be great on a blazer or a light jacket when the weather changes.
  • Skeleton Key from Crystal Compass: I love keys so this necklace was a big draw when I decided to buy the box. I have been wearing it pretty regularly since I received it and absolutely love it. (I did change the chain because I’m allergic to brass but the pendant looks great on anything.) You can also get 50% off at Crystal Compass with the code OWLCRATE. I already used the code to buy a couple of early Christmas gifts and necklaces for my self. Crystal Compass has a variety of pendants and necklaces in varied lengths and finishes so that you can mix and match and create a layered necklace look. As I type this review I’m wearing my skeleton key from this box and a compass necklace from the same shop. Fantastic find and I’ll likely be shopping from here again.

So that’s my rundown of everything in Owlcrate’s May 2016 Steampunk box. In case I didn’t make it clear I was beyond thrilled to be able to purchase it. I even had a great time unboxing it with my mom and explaining why I was excited about the different items. I plan on watching for other boxes as they “pass” because the one time purchase option (with optional payment through Paypal or credit card) was such a smashing success this time around.