Illumicrate, Unboxings

Illumicrate August 2022 unboxing – Knowledge is power

This unboxing contains spoilers!

Theme of the box

Description by Illumicrate

Our August theme is: KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Our featured book this month is Babel by R.F. Kuang! Set against the backdrop of historic Oxford, and with an absolutely memorable cast of characters, we fell in love with this impeccably written critique of imperialism and the institutions that uphold it.

Our Illumicrate edition is a naked hardback featuring a redesigned cover…inside a slipcase!! We’ve never done a slipcase edition in our monthly subscription before, and we are thrilled to make this our first! If you’re a fan of the trade cover of Babel then never fear, our slipcase design bears this in mind!

Our edition also features digitally printed edges, contains a bound-in author letter and exclusive bonus content, and is signed by the author! The team at Harper Voyager truly did the most spectacular job with this edition, we feel so lucky to be able to offer you something this magical as part of our subscription and we cannot wait for you all to see it!

Items this month are inspired by The Atlas Six, Bunny, A Lesson in Vengeance and Babel! There will also be a fandom neutral item that was a big hit last year! We’ve taken inspiration from the cover of Babel for the contents of this month’s box, and we love how cohesive everything looks.

The book at a glance:

  • Adult dark academia historical fantasy standalone
  • Dual-heritage Chinese and English protagonist, Muslim Indian main character, Haitian, Creole-speaking Black main character
  • All exclusive: redesigned cover, slipcase, digitally printed edges, bound-in author letter, exclusive bonus content, signed by the author

Content warnings (provided by the author):

Child abuse
Drug use
Racism
Colonialism/imperialism
Explicit violence
Gore
Imprisonment
Parent illness and death
Murder
Epidemic

Item 1

READING JOURNAL & PLANNER

DESIGNED BY: MADLEN OELSCHNER

ARTWORK BY: DRI GOMEZ

One of our most popular items makes a return with some improvements! Plan your month and keep track of your reading with this beautiful reading journal featuring some of our favourite dark academia characters and quotes. This is undated so you can begin it at any time and we have left space for you to decorate each page yourself.

I remember that their previous reading journal was received very well so I’m glad that it made a return! It’s very fancy. I’m sure that many people will love it!

Item 2

KNOWLEDGE IS CARNAGE PENCIL CASE

DESIGNED BY: JANINE LECOUR

Keep your journal supplies safe with this pencil case inspired by The Atlas Six!

It’s cool that you can shove out the bottom part. It’s very unique! I haven’t seen it before.

Item 3

DARK ACADEMIA STAMP SET

DESIGNED BY: ANNA VEHLING

Decorate your journal with this stamp set inspired by A Lesson in Vengeance.

I’m not gonna lie- I have no clue how to use this stamp set. I’ve never received a stamp set like this. Could someone make a tutorial for it?

Item 4

WRITING WORKSHOP ENAMEL PIN

DESIGNED BY: MARTA

For honorary members of the “Smut Salon” inspired by Bunny.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a pin! I really like this one even though I had never heard of the book before.

Item 5

BABEL BOOKMARK SET

ARTWORK BY: MERWILD

Featuring all of the main characters from our book of the month, these bookmarks are as beautiful as they are useful.

Illumicrate couldn’t describe it better! These bookmarks are indeed beautiful and useful. And they match this month’s book so that’s another plus!

Book

BABEL BY RF KUANG

Traduttore, traditore: An act of translation is always an act of betrayal.

1828. Robin Swift, orphaned by cholera in Canton, is brought to London by the mysterious Professor Lovell. There, he trains for years in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Chinese, all in preparation for the day he’ll enroll in Oxford University’s prestigious Royal Institute of Translation – also known as Babel.

Babel is the world’s center of translation and, more importantly, of silver-working: the art of manifesting the meaning lost in translation through enchanted silver bars, to magical effect. Silver-working has made the British Empire unparalleled in power, and Babel’s research in foreign languages serves the Empire’s quest to colonize everything it encounters.

Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, is a fairytale for Robin; a utopia dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. But knowledge serves power, and for Robin, a Chinese boy raised in Britain, serving Babel inevitably means betraying his motherland. As his studies progress Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the shadowy Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to sabotaging the silver-working that supports imperial expansion. When Britain pursues an unjust war with China over silver and opium, Robin must decide: Can powerful institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence? What is he willing to sacrifice to bring Babel down?

Enjoy your Illumicrate edition with all exclusive: naked hardback featuring a redesigned cover inside a slipcase, digitally printed edges, a bound-in author letter, exclusive bonus content, and is signed by the author

This edition is soooo stunning! I’m blown away by it. The slipcase, the stencilled edges, the cover (that sadly shows your fingerprints), the beautiful endpages. And of course the nice bonus content! I think this is my favourite illumicrate edition of the whole year. It’s so breathtaking!

Conclusion

Sorry for the delay! I had hoped to upload this unboxing sooner but sadly I was dealing with an inflamed colon but here it is! I really love the august box. It’s full of useful and pretty items! Perfect for my birthday month. My favourite items are probably the reading journal and the babel bookmarks! And of course the book itself. Illumicrate’s edition of Babel is so stunning! The slip case, the sprayed edges. This edition is *chef’s kiss*! I think this is my favourite edition of the year. Thank you for the awesome box illumicrate!

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