The Nocturnal Reader’s Box – August 2017 Unboxing

The Nocturnal Reader’s Box is a horror-themed monthly subscription service that includes two books, one new release and one previously released title. In addition to the books there are several gift items inspired by horror books and films. Two guaranteed items are a bookmark and a special art print specifically commissioned for the box. Boxes are $35 and will always include at least seven items in total.

I know that I haven’t tried that many book subscriptions yet, but the Noc Box is definitely my favorite subscription service. Getting one of these boxes is like a birthday present and I honestly wish that I could afford to subscribe every month. If you’re a lover of horror or darker science fiction books, I definitely recommend checking them out at www.thenocturnalreadersbox.com.

The theme for this month’s box was Infected & Infested. So without further ado, let’s get started with the unboxing!

The Goodies

The Exorcist Mug

YES. My inner horror nerd is still screaming about this. I LOVE mugs and actually haven’t collected all that many yet. I love the funny take on a famous horror reference and the design is wonderful. This is easily one of my favorite items in the box and one of the best items I’ve gotten from a book box to date. This mug is inspired by The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty which was the basis for the iconic 1971 film. Which is where I’ll admit that I am a heathen and have not read the book or seen the movie yet. I am however familiar with the scene having seen many clips and parodies over time. It’s on my list of things to read and watch eventually once I stop being a disappointment.

Vendor: The mug is a custom design by Jeff @ Exhumed Visions and is no longer available in the shop.

Patient Zero Pin

This month’s box contained another enamel pin, this time featuring a glow in the dark zombie head held up by a hand. It’s a high quality pin that is highly detailed and being a huge lover of zombie books and movies I’m thrilled to put this on my library bag. This pin is inspired by the book Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry. This is another book that I have yet to read and to be perfectly honest, I hadn’t heard about before now but it sounds intriguing.

Bath Bomb

I have never had the pleasure of using a bath bomb, partially due to concern about allergies. I have sensitive skin and always use fragrance free soaps and detergent to be safe. I think it’s cool that it’s blood red and it smells absolutely amazing. The scent is listed as: fresh breezes, orchid, ylang, sandalwood, patchouli, freshly fallen leaves. Despite my concerns about allergies I decided to give it a try, dissolving only half of the bath bomb and making sure that it was really watered down. While I smelled great and enjoyed the soak, as soon as I stepped out of the water my skin began to itch! Definitely allergic, darn skin allergies! It was nice to try anyway, though, and there was a tiny toy spider inside that my daughter loved. So it was still a really nice item to include in the box, even though I ended up unlucky.

Vendor: The bath bomb comes from Alice @ Fizzy Fairy Apothecary and is available in her shop, titled Blood of Your Enemies.

The Stand Hat

I haven’t owned a snapback hat in a long time but my husband and I used to wear them a lot. The design on the front says Captain Trips which is the name of the virus that wipes out most of the world’s population in The Stand by Stephen King. It’s comfortable and I already made my husband model it for me, I love that I got such a high quality wearable item in a subscription box!

Art Print

WOW. This print is PERFECT. I love not just the art style but I love the piece itself. One of the scariest stories I ever read as a child was The Red Spot, which appeared in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. That story stayed with me for years and thinking about it still makes my skin crawl. I am so thrilled for this piece because it features one of my greatest childhood nightmares. I love that the art is creepy but not too scary for the children if I frame and hang it up. The name of the piece is The Woman Who Never Killed Bugs, creepy!

Artist: Ally Burke @ Dead Spider Hands.

Salem’s Lot Post Card

I don’t really mail post cards so I’ll probably frame this or make a collage with it and hang it somewhere. “If a man dethrones God in his heart, then Satan must ascend to His position.” What an ominious quote! This post card is a reference to the vampire novel Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. The print is on high quality glossy and thick post card paper and it’s a nice little extra.

Roach Bookmark

I HATE roaches, they are the one creature that never fails to startle me and makes me shudder even after disposing of one. Have you ever been bitten by a roach? Because I have and it actually hurts and takes quite a bit of time to heal. If it were cartoonish roaches I’d be totally okay, but the ones on the bookmark look like the real deal. I’m halfway conflicted about this bookmark because it fits the theme so perfectly and features the very thing that grosses me out the most, but at the same time I don’t want to want to look at it. I’ll still likely use it because I always need more bookmarks and the ones that always come in noc boxes are actually pretty good quality. Still though, it just had to be roaches..

The Books

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

Okay, this is the book that I am most excited for because it is a book that was already on my TBR. I was extra lucky this month and got a signed copy of this book and I am beyond excited about it. I’m not sure what to expect from this book exactly given the vague synopsis, and it sounds more like a ghost story? Either way I’m thrilled to have this beautiful little novella and will definitely be reading it this month.

Walking through his own house at night, a fifteen-year-old thinks he sees another person stepping through a doorway. Instead of the people who could be there, his mother or his brother, the figure reminds him of his long-gone father, who died mysteriously before his family left the reservation. When he follows it he discovers his house is bigger and deeper than he knew.

The house is the kind of wrong place where you can lose yourself and find things you’d rather not have. Over the course of a few nights, the boy tries to map out his house in an effort that puts his little brother in the worst danger, and puts him in the position to save them . . . at terrible cost.


The Grip of It by Jac Jemc

A second new release book! This one also sounds like some sort of a haunted house type of book, which really throws me off given the theme. Despite that though this book sounds really intriguing and is by a fresh new artist that is completely new to me. I really like the detail on the cover and am definitely going to save this one for my horror marathon in October.

Touring their prospective suburban home, Julie and James are stopped by a noise. Deep and vibrating, like throat singing. Ancient, husky, and rasping, but underwater. “That’s just the house settling,” the real estate agent assures them with a smile. He is wrong.

The move―prompted by James’s penchant for gambling and his general inability to keep his impulses in check―is quick and seamless; both Julie and James are happy to start afresh. But this house, which sits between a lake and a forest, has its own plans for the unsuspecting couple. As Julie and James try to establish a sense of normalcy, the home and its surrounding terrain become the locus of increasingly strange happenings. The framework― claustrophobic, riddled with hidden rooms within rooms―becomes unrecognizable, decaying before their eyes. Stains are animated on the wall―contracting, expanding―and map themselves onto Julie’s body in the form of painful, grisly bruises.

Like the house that torments the troubled married couple living within its walls, The Grip of It oozes with palpable terror and skin-prickling dread. Its architect, Jac Jemc, meticulously traces Julie and James’s unsettling journey through the depths of their new home as they fight to free themselves from its crushing grip.


This Book is Full of Spiders by David Wong

This is certainly an interesting pick, a horror comedy novel by one of the writers from Cracked.com. I never read John Dies at the End but I do know that it was successful enough to spawn a movie adaptation. The idea of mind controlling spiders is intriguing and I like that it’s a horror novel centering on insects. It certainly fits the theme, so I am interested in checking this one out though I’m not in a rush to. I’m not sure if I should read John first since this is the sequel so maybe I’ll pick that one up from the library first. Either way, it is a nice copy with a cool cover and interesting concept.

WARNING: You may have a huge, invisible spider living in your skull. THIS IS NOT A METAPHOR.

You will dismiss this as ridiculous fearmongering. Dismissing things as ridiculous fearmongering is, in fact, the first symptom of parasitic spider infection-the creature secretes a chemical into the brain to stimulate skepticism, in order to prevent you from seeking a cure. That’s just as well, since the “cure” involves learning what a chain saw tastes like.

You can’t feel the spider, because it controls your nerve endings. You can’t see it, because it decides what you see. You won’t even feel it when it breeds. And it will breed. So what happens when your family, friends, and neighbors get mind-controlling skull spiders? We’re all about to find out.

Just stay calm, and remember that telling you about the spider situation is not the same as having caused it. I’m just the messenger. Even if I did sort of cause it.

Either way, I won’t hold it against you if you’re upset. I know that’s just the spider talking.


Box Review

Box Value
The total value of all the items in this box would be somewhere in the range of about $100 give or take a couple of dollars. This dollar value was the same amount I came up with for last month’s box so it’s safe to say that it’s a pretty consistent thing. This is an extremely high value for a box that only costs $35 a month. The three books alone almost make up the entire cost of the box, totaling in at $30 if I were to purchase all three online. Not only is the value quite high but every single item in the box are ones that I loved and will be using and that is my favorite part about it.

Are these items I’d buy?
YES. I love mugs and hats and have been wanting to try out a bath bomb for myself for ages. I love the art style on the art print and the fact that it’s not too scary to display around small children. While the print was my favorite item in the box it was genuinely a difficult pick, the mug was a very close second.

All three books look promising and it was extra exciting that Mapping the Interior was actually already on my to read list. As I’ve said before, horror books are kind of a difficult genre to find books for since many retailers tend to lump horror in with every other genre. Sure there are a couple of well established authors out there but it’s refreshing to discover some new authors as well. This is what makes the Noc box a favorite for me.

Would I order again?
In a heartbeat, yes. The boxes are a bit expensive to order every month, but if I had the sort of disposable income to do so then I would gladly keep a subscription going for a while. I will definitely be ordering this box again, probably in October or closer to Christmas as a treat for myself so this definitely won’t be the last time this blog sees a Noc Box post.

Final Thoughts
My friends they knocked this box out of the ballpark. While I was mildly underwhelmed by July’s box the August box far exceeded my expectations. Having seen unboxings for many of the other Noc Boxes in the past, I think this month’s may have been one of their absolute best.

I was surprised to find a few books and items themed around possession and ghostly hauntings. When I think of Infected & Infested I think viruses, insects, and other parasites. I suppose a ghostly possession or a haunting could fall into the category, but I tend to think of them as a separate thing. Maybe I’m completely wrong about the books and they all contain the things that I expected, I’ll just have to wait and see!

I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the info card listed several of the vendors that created the items in the box. Since I loved the goodies so much I’m definitely interested in checking more of their work out and am especially glad that I can link them here for all of you as well.

How did you like this month’s box?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


  1. “The Power of Coffee Compels You” Has there ever been a truer saying? The art print is totally gorgeous! The roach bookmark gave me shudders…. ugh. I cannot believe you’ve actually been bitten by one! I see one on the other side of the house and yell for someone to kill it. I’ve never really tried many horror books, since horror movies never really scare me so I figure the books won’t too, but “Mapping the Interior” sounds pretty interesting! Hope you enjoy the books and proudly display the swag 😀

    1. Jamie

      Thanks Rekha! I feel you on horror books not actually being scary, that’s how I feel about a lot of horror movies but horror lit has always drawn me in. I know a lot of people that have a similar issue with all horror, especially video games. Maybe with horror fiction it works better for me since I’m more invested and immersed in the characters? I have always loved things that are dark and spooky aesthetically anyway so this box is definitely a perfect fit for me, I’m so happy that I found it.

      Also about roaches, no kidding I woke up one morning and my eyelid was swollen almost shut, I could barely open my eye for a few days. I asked my family what they thought the bite could be and they told me immediately that it was a roach bite. They’re from the Philippines and apparently it’s not that uncommon. I didn’t even know they could bite! I freak out now whenever I see one after that.

  2. Liz

    Ahh, that’s too much horror for me. I’m glad you enjoyed the box, however! I’m hoping to check out some book boxes when I can afford them again.

    I enjoy the idea of extras, but I have difficulties with those as well due to my allergies.

    1. Agreed on the allergies part. Every time I see unboxing and folks getting scented body lotions, soaps, and bath bombs I shudder a little bit because I know there is a very good chance that I won’t be able to use most if not all of those items. There’s also a lot of book boxes that advertise a ton of items but most of them look like junk to me.
      It’s part of why I was very careful in picking a handful of book box subscriptions that seemed to have more usable items. Maybe I’ll write up a suggestion / guide post sometime. 🙂

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