A Novel Idea: OwlCrate unboxing


“Call Down The Hawk” by Maggie Stiefvater.  Photo courtesy of    bookreads.com

“Call Down The Hawk” by Maggie Stiefvater. Photo courtesy of bookreads.com

Tuesday was the release day for many books, including Maggie Stiefvater’s “Call Down the Hawk,” the first in her companion trilogy to one of my favorite series, “The Raven Cycle” (which you’ve probably heard me go on about before). Once I saw that OwlCrate, a young adult (YA) book subscription box service, was curating a box especially for the novel’s release, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Not only does the box include an exclusive and signed edition of the first of The Dreamer Trilogy, but it also includes eight unique, handpicked items inspired by the series and created by commissioned artists. 

The box’s exclusive cover of “Call Down the Hawk” is a dreamy blue reminiscent of the color featured on the original series, which is much more pleasant than the jarring orange on the nonexclusive cover. The cover certainly isn’t as gorgeous as those of “The Raven Cycle” books, but I can’t complain. The back of the dust jacket includes stunning artwork by Stiefvater (is there anything this woman can’t do?), and the title page is also signed. The book itself has already received rave reviews from fans and publications alike, and having loved Stiefvater’s previous work, I know that she won’t disappoint with this spin-off that focuses on Rowan, a “dreamer” who can retrieve anything that he can imagine from his dreams. 

OwlCrate subscription.  Photo courtesy of    hellosubscription.com

OwlCrate subscription. Photo courtesy of hellosubscription.com

The curated items are meant to be a mix of cozy, as well as useful, items for fall. Prior to the release of the box, OwlCrate revealed two items that were going to be included, the first being a set of matching pillowcases. I know that doesn’t sound too exciting, but promise me when I say that the artwork printed on them is gorgeous. The quote, “You are made of dreams,” from the novel, is featured with an equally dreamy night sky background. I may use one of the pillowcases and then hang the other as a small tapestry — all I know is that I want them to be on display. The other revealed item is an exclusive, sizeable (6 ounces, to be exact) wood candle from Rose and Adder called Nightwash. With complementary scents of blackberry, sage and rosemary, lighting it up creates a scent reminiscent of the fresh firs of a forest. 

There are three wearable items included in the box, two of them being perfect to stay cozy for those upcoming chilly autumn days. The navy blue “Dreamer” beanie with white accents and a graphic of forest trees and the gray crew socks with the iconic ley lines from the series are probably my favorite things in the box. The references are recognizable for “The Raven Cycle” fans but are also subtle enough that you can easily wear them out and about without getting questioning looks. The third wearable item is a delicate raven and skull silver necklace, simple and spooky. 

A silver keychain, with a purple moth and skull graphic and “The Fairy Market” inscribed in it, references something that’s not entirely familiar to me, so I’m assuming it comes from “Call Down the Hawk” itself and not the original series. That, along with the sword and dagger enamel pin, are welcome additions to my backpack and lanyard and have some tasteful details thanks to dedicated artists. 

The box also includes a letter from Stiefvater, a specially curated playlist for the book and a graphic from OwlCrate detailing all the chosen items. It’s the little, personalized details like this that subscription boxes pay attention to just for fans, which I appreciate. 

I like how the items chosen for this box, and for book subscription boxes in general, are a mix of practical items that I can use very frequently, as well as unique choices specially handpicked for the theme and brand. Some things, like the pillowcases or candle, would not be things that I would singularly seek to purchase but am pleasantly surprised to receive. I would say that I think I like FairyLoot’s selection of items better overall, but OwlCrate, especially this box, is a great value and was perfect for the debut of “Call Down the Hawk.” 

Hollie Lao is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at hollianne.lao@uconn.edu.

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