Illumicrate, Unboxings

Illumicrate April 2022 unboxing – Nothing but thieves

This unboxing contains spoilers!

Theme of the box

Description by Illumicrate

Our April theme is NOTHING BUT THIEVES! Whether it’s stealing to survive,  to achieve a goal, or to right a grievous wrong…some would still see you as nothing but thieves.

Our book this month is a debut adult contemporary standalone. A college student forms a crew to pull off a daring heist: to steal back 5 of China’s priceless treasures, looted by the west centuries ago and displayed in museums all across Europe and the US. The stakes are high, but the reward, should they succeed, is even higher. We adored the ragtag team of amateur thieves with brilliant character dynamics, the thrilling, atmospheric heists, and the thoughtful exploration of colonialism, cultural diaspora and identity.

Our edition features all exclusive: cover, embossing on the hardback, reverse dust jacket art by @littlechmura, sprayed edges and is signed by the author!

Items this month are inspired by The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, The Gilded Wolves and City of Brass! There’s also a fandom neutral item in this box. We’ve worked with a much beloved artist we’ve been dying to work with for YEARS, and we can’t wait to reveal them to you!

The book at a glance:

  • Adult contemporary standalone
  • Chinese American characters, written by Chinese American author. F/F relationship between 2 main characters, M/F relationship between 2 main characters
  • All exclusive: cover, embossing on the hardback, reverse dust jacket artwork by @littlechmura, sprayed edges and signed by the author

Content warnings:

  • racism
  • xenophobia
  • terminal illness
  • mental illness

Item 1

ART HISTORY BOOK POT

DESIGNED BY: CHATTYNORA

Our latest book pot is inspired by art history. Can you guess which famous painting inspired the design?

It’s safe to say that this book pot isn’t my thing. I might receive a yellow box every month but I’m not a fan of the colour yellow😅 I’m so sorry Illumicrew! I also don’t know which painting this is inspired by. I don’t have much art knowledge.

Item 2

SONG OF THE SPIRITS PAPERCRAFT KIT

ARTWORK BY: ROSIETHORNS88

Piece together one of our favourite scenes from City of Brass with this exclusive papercraft kit!

Oh this is interesting! I know that many people love Rosie’s papercraft kits! It’s so cool that they were able to include this.

Item 3

TO BE REMEMBERED PRINT ALBUM

ARTWORK BY: FEZ INKWRIGHT

Store all your favourite memories and artwork in this print album inspired by The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.

EEEEK I AM SO HAPPY! I was looking for a print album for my non-bookish prints but couldn’t find one that I liked and was sturdy enough. I really love the sleeves that illumicrate uses for their print album. THANK YOU ILLUMICREW!

Item 4

GILDED WOLVES BOOKMARK SET

ARTWORK BY: GABRIELLA BUJDOSO

Featuring all the main characters from the series. these bookmarks are as beautiful as they are useful.

Ooooh these are super gorgeous! I haven’t read this series but I’m pretty sure that many people will like this item!

Book

PORTRAIT OF A THIEF

BY GRACE D. LI

A senior at Harvard, Will fits comfortably in his carefully curated roles: a perfect student, an art history major and sometimes artist, the eldest son who has always been his parents’ American Dream. But when a mysterious Chinese benefactor reaches out with an impossible and illegal-job offer. Will finds himself something else as well: the leader of a heist to steal back five priceless Chinese sculptures, looted from Beijing centuries ago. His crew is every heist archetype one can imagine or at least. the closest he can get. A con artist: Irene Chen, a public policy major at Duke who can talk her way out of anything. A thief: Daniel Liang, a premed student with steady hands just as capable of lockpicking as suturing. A getaway driver: Lily Wu, an engineering major who races cars in her free time. A hacker. Alex Huang, an MIT dropout turned Silicon Valley software engineer. Each member of his crew has their own complicated relationship with China and the identity they’ve cultivated as Chinese Americans, but when Will asks, none of them can turn him down. Because if they succeed? They earn fifty million dollars and a chance to make history. But if they fail, it will mean not just the loss of everything they’ve dreamed for themselves but yet another thwarted attempt to take back what colonialism has stolen.

Enjoy your Illumicrate edition with all exclusive: cover, foil embossing on the hardback, reverse dustjacket artwork by @littlechmura and sprayed edges. This edition is also signed by the author!

I’ve seen the cover before but I’m not sure what the difference is with the original cover… maybe the hand? Anyway I have to admit that I’m not a fan of real people on covers. It just doesn’t do it for me. Drawn people on the other hand? Yes please! But this guy is wearing cool sunglasses. Love how detailed the reflection is!

Also illumicrate really said let’s use yellow for this box with the sprayed edges… they do compliment the blue though! And shoutout to that naked hardback. I love the tigers on it. And the art on the dust jacket!!! I’m definitely going to flip it so I have the art on the front. It’s super gorgeous. Thank you illumicrate for adding the art!

Conclusion

This was a really good box! They’ve included gorgeous items that many people will love. It’s cool hat they’ve included a paper raft kit from Rosie! The bookmarks are amazing too. The book pot is a bit ehhh for me but that’s because of the colour. Sorry illumicrew… The print album though!!! I LOVE IT SO MUCH! I finally have one for my non-bookish prints. THANK YOU SO MICH ILLUMICRATE! The book looks interesting too but I’ll definitely flip the dust jacket so I can see the art. I’m just not a fan of real people on covers. But overall this was a amazing box. I’m really looking forward to the May box!

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