Book Box Review and Unboxing: The Nocturnal Reader’s April Box: Trapped

It’s that time again! This month’s theme for The Nocturnal Reader’s Box was “Trapped,” and explored all the various iterations of that theme in horror literature.

First things first. The two books this month are:

Little Heaven by Nick Cutter (yay!) Here’s the Goodreads description:

An all-new epic tale of terror and redemption set in the hinterlands of midcentury New Mexico from the acclaimed author of The Troop—which Stephen King raved “scared the hell out of me and I couldn’t put it down…old-school horror at its best.”

From electrifying horror author Nick Cutter comes a haunting new novel, reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian and Stephen King’s It, in which a trio of mismatched mercenaries is hired by a young woman for a deceptively simple task: check in on her nephew, who may have been taken against his will to a remote New Mexico backwoods settlement called Little Heaven. Shortly after they arrive, things begin to turn ominous. Stirrings in the woods and over the treetops—the brooding shape of a monolith known as the Black Rock casts its terrible pall. Paranoia and distrust grips the settlement. The escape routes are gradually cut off as events spiral towards madness. Hell—or the closest thing to it—invades Little Heaven. The remaining occupants are forced to take a stand and fight back, but whatever has cast its dark eye on Little Heaven is now marshaling its powers…and it wants them all.

And Suffer the Children by Craig DiLouie 

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod’s Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were…but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

I’ve been looking forward to Nick Cutter’s new book, and Suffer the Children sounds horrifying (not a big child fan to begin with).

In addition there was a ton of cool stuff, such as a Stephen King pin, and a Shutter Island matchbox . . . 

A chapbook called 120 Seconds of Light by JE Smith 

 A Lord of the Flies themed tote bag

A wicked cool and creepy 3D art print, 

And probably my favorite part of the box: a pint glass from The Overlook Hotel of The Shining fame. 

As always, I have nothing but praise for this box. The amount of stuff you get for your money is unreal,  and it’s so wonderful to find a book box not solely for the teenage set. Boxes go quick, but you should totally head over to their website and start up a subscription. 

Book Box Review/Unboxing: Nocturnal Reader’s Box (March): Lost in the Woods

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I’m loving this subscription box so far! This is my second month with The Nocturnal Reader’s Box, and I couldn’t be happier! This month’s theme was “Lost in the Woods,” and the box was crammed full of great spooky/woodsy stuff!

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The books featured this month are In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware and The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn, two books that I’ve really been looking forward to reading.

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From the Goodreads description for In a Dark, Dark Wood:

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

And for The Devil Crept In:

An unforgettable horror novel from bestselling sensation Ania Ahlborn—hailed as a writer of “some of the most promising horror I’ve encountered in years” (New York Times bestselling author Seanan McGuire)—in which a small-town boy investigates the mysterious disappearance of his cousin and uncovers a terrifying secret kept hidden for years.

Young Jude Brighton has been missing for three days, and while the search for him is in full swing in the small town of Deer Valley, Oregon, the locals are starting to lose hope. They’re well aware that the first forty-eight hours are critical and after that, the odds usually point to a worst-case scenario. And despite Stevie Clark’s youth, he knows that, too; he’s seen the cop shows. He knows what each ticking moment may mean for Jude, his cousin and best friend.

That, and there was that boy, Max Larsen…the one from years ago, found dead after also disappearing under mysterious circumstances. And then there were the animals: pets gone missing out of yards. For years, the residents of Deer Valley have murmured about these unsolved crimes…and that a killer may still be lurking around their quiet town. Now, fear is reborn—and for Stevie, who is determined to find out what really happened to Jude, the awful truth may be too horrifying to imagine.

How can you not be excited by that?!

In addition to the two books, there were a bunch of fun goodies to complete the woodsy theme:

Included in the box was a “Campfire Story Champion” hat, a wooden bookmark, some looseleaf tea and tea ball (yay!), a para-cord bracelet with a compass and knife, a Sasquatch air freshener (smells like pine, not Sasquatch, thankfully!), a pin, and a spooky poster.I am amazed by all the stuff they can fit into one box!

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In all, I’m very happy with the variety and quality of this subscription box. The book selections have been wonderful, and their monthly themes are just so much fun! They’ve already announced the theme for April: Trapped! If you want to sign up for this box (and I highly recommend that you do), visit The Nocturnal Reader’s Box to sign up. I hear that April’s boxes are going quickly, so sooner is definitely better than later!

Book Box Review: Powell’s Indiespensable#64: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

I  was very excited to learn that History of Wolves would be the featured book of Indiespensable #64. The book came up as a Goodreads suggestion a while back, and it sounds utterly fascinating.

From the Goodreads description:

Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her ‘Freak’, or ‘Commie’. She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated. As Linda insinuates her way into the family’s orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; but if she doesn’t, their son may die.
Superbly-paced and beautifully written, HISTORY OF WOLVES is an extraordinary debut novel about guilt, innocence, negligence, well-meaning belief and the death of a child.

Tying in with the cabin life of Linda’s family, the box also includes a container of Bogg’s Trail Butter. I’m not sure if all boxes came with the same flavor, or different flavors were included in other boxes, but I got their Mountaineer Maple variety, and it was amazingly good (and, at the time of this writing, completely gone).

As always, the book itself comes in a custom slipcase and is signed by the author.

You can find more information, and sign up for Powell’s Indiespensable by clicking here. But be warned, subscriptions sell out VERY quickly!

Book Box Review: Nocturnal Readers Box – “Paranoia”

This book box subscription is exactly what I have been looking for! It is surprisingly hard to find a decent sci-fi/horror subscription box that is not YA focused.

Each box contains two books, one new release and one older release, a custom-designed wearable, an art print, and assorted other goodies. Each box is also based upon a theme. February’s is “Paranoia.” (The March 2017 theme has just been announced: “Lost in the Woods” check it out here).

The featured book is Under a Watchful Eye by Adam Nevill. From the Goodreads description:

Seb Logan is being watched. He just doesn’t know by whom.

When the sudden appearance of a dark figure shatters his idyllic coastal life, he soon realizes that the murky past he thought he’d left behind has far from forgotten him. What’s more unsettling is the strange atmosphere that engulfs him at every sighting, plunging his mind into a terrifying paranoia.

To be a victim without knowing the tormentor. To be despised without knowing the offence caused. To be seen by what nobody else can see. These are the thoughts which plague his every waking moment.

Imprisoned by despair, Seb fears his stalker is not working alone, but rather is involved in a wider conspiracy that threatens everything he has worked for. For there are doors in this world that open into unknown places. Places used by the worst kind of people to achieve their own ends. And once his investigation leads him to stray across the line and into mortal danger, he risks becoming another fatality in a long line of victims . . .

Even the description is anxiety-inducing!

Perhaps my favorite thing in this box was seeing Silence of the Lambs when I took Under a Watchful Eye out of the box. But wait! That gorgeousness was actually a box, and inside I found a copy of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho!

Extra goodies included sunglasses with “Don’t Follow Me” emblazoned on the sides, and a branded case, a beautiful journal with a quote from Phillip K. Dick embossed on the cover, and American Psycho-themed videotape pin, and a bookmark and art print featuring the monsters under your bed.

In all, I’m incredibly happy with this book box! This is my first experience with Nocturnal Readers, and I am thrilled! I can’t wait for the March box!

If you’re interested in subscribing to the Nocturnal Reader’s Box, click here.

Book Box Review/Unboxing: Powell’s Indiespensable #63: Moonglow by Michael Chabon

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So first off, yay! I love getting that simple white box in the mail! It certainly helps that this book has been on my TBR for a bit!

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Opening up the box on a cool late-fall afternoon, I actually did a little dance when hot chocolate packets were the first things to meet my eye.

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I mean, come on, just look at those! (I also happen to be drinking the “Original” dark chocolate while I’m writing this review! Delicious!)

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The bonus book for this go-round is Night of Fire: A Novel by Colin Thubron, which releases on January 17th, 2017. I hadn’t heard of the book before receiving it, but having read the blurb, I’m excited to give it a read (my poor, poor, TBR).

And then we get to the meat of the box: Moonglow by Michael Chabon. And, this being an Indiespensable book, it’s signed and comes in its own slipcase! Like I said earlier, I’d been looking forward to reading this book, and I was so excited when it came up as part of the Indiespensable program!

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So if you aren’t signed up for Powell’s subscription box yet, you should really get on it! Books ship every 6-8 weeks, and thus far (after about a year into the subscription) I have yet to be disappointed in their picks! You can checkout the next offer here. At the time of this writing, there were still a few slots open, but these tend to go very, very fast (I had to stalk the website for a month or two before I was able to sign up).

Book Box Review/Unboxing: Powell`s Indiespensable #61: Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer

I adore Powell`s quarterly book box. I’ve been a subscriber for well/over a year. The box is a bit pricey, $39.95, but ships every 6-8 weeks, so you’re not shelling that much out every mont, which helps.

Each box includes a signed, hardcover first edition of a new release book, and I understand many of these editions (which come with a custom, exclusive slipcover) have gone on to be quite valuable.

The box also includes goodies, such as snacks, water bottles, ARCs, and other bonus books. This box included an ARC of Universal Harvester by John Darnielle. The bonus book was cleverly packaged as a VHS rental (if you’re not sure what that is, go ask your parents).

The book looked so intriguing, I started reading right then and there. Expect a review to come out a bit closer to publishing time. Suffice it to say it was a creepy and original story, and I liked it quite a bit.

The focus of the box was Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer. I haven’t read any of Foer’s other works, but the description of this book sounds great!

Above are pics of the book with and without the slipcover.

All told, I feel that Powell’s Indiespensable is a good deal for the money. Their picks are consistently great, even when the books are outside my comfort zone. Be warned: this box tends to sell out fast (the next box, due out in October, is already sold out), so be prepared for some hovering in order to secure your place.

You can check out the Indiespensable box info for yourself here.