I was considering a subscription for a while, but I was struggling to find one with 1) adult SFF in it and 2) local enough that I don’t have to pay customs tax. The joys of being in Ireland post-Brexit…
I did find this lovely Book Resort one, which lets you pick the genre you want. It’s Irish, and the treats inside are from small Irish companies.
I subscribed in early January and received my first box last month. I was not entirely happy with it, as it felt a bit empty compared to other book boxes I’d seen. The chocolate was absolutely amazing, but the book (Beauty and the Wolf, by Wray Delaney) wasn’t exactly what I’d been expecting when I asked for SFF. I mean it IS fantasy but, as I described it to a friend, it looks like the kind of fantasy that likes to pretend it’s not, to be marketed with the non-genre literature. (I had a lot to read and I’ve not given it a try yet, so I might be wrong there, but it wasn’t the best first look for this book box).
I did decide to give it a second try (also, did I mention the chocolate?) and the second (March) box arrived on Tuesday.
Inside, the book is wrapped in black crinkly paper (bonus: the cats love it! they will tear it apart for a few days and sit on it before I send it to recycling) and this time I’m really excited about the contents:
So there’s the book, Blood Metal Bone by Lindsay Cummings (true fantasy this time, though I’m not quite sure how it falls on the YA/Adult continuum), which sounds intriguing. The cover is gorgeous and the phoenix is also (in black) on each new chapter page, which is just nice. I’m really satisfied with this.
The treat is luxury irish milk chocolate, by Sweet Living, a small company out of Kilkenny. It looks amazing and, well it’s milk chocolate, no sorcery there, but it does taste very good!
The self care item is a bit of a miss since it’s seaweed bath salts from AlgAran and, like probably most of the Dublin population, I live in a cramped studio that doesn’t have a bath. It is, however, palm free and vegan, and is made with organic ingredients. Apparently you can sort of use it as a scrub (so it says on the back) so I can still make some use out of it, maybe? For comparison, last month’s was a nice-smelling hand cream and I’ve been using it since, or more accurately opening it to sniff it regularly, because it’s so nice.
Overall I’m pretty happy with this box, I did not know about this book so it’s more a chance to try something new rather than getting the hot book of the month. The service is super quick (they ship on the 1st and I got it on the second) and the non-book items are clearly quality and local, even if I don’t always have a use for them.
I find it’s on the expensive side, at 33€ a box for a book around the 10-12€ mark, but you can customize it, and it includes shipping. It’s reasonable for the products you get. I think if I stay with them I’ll remove the beauty product and stick with the chocolate, which has been great so far!
Get the box here (with free shipping on the isle of Ireland).