The Nocturnal Reader’s Box – May 2018 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.

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 here.

The theme for this month’s box was Who Made This Bloody F**cking Mess!?, which to me screams blood and vampires! Let’s get started with the unboxing, shall we?

The Goodies

They Thirst T-Shirt

Obviously the spotlight item in the box, I LOVE this shirt. I intentionally ordered an X-L to account for shrinkage but also because I’ve been really wanting some cool graphic tees that I can wear on casual days or to sleep in. I love vampires so this print is marvelous, and I’ve discovered a new vampire book to add to my TBR, so win-win!

The Traveling Vampire Show Compact Mirror

You know, it’s funny. I never thought that I’d want a compact mirror out of a book box, I never wore make up until recently so I never had a use for them. This past week, though, at work or while out with friends I’ve been thinking that I might maybe need one having found myself stranded without one to refresh my lipstick. I normally would have cringed getting this item, but it’s ended up saving me from having to purchase one, and it’s spooky themed so that’s a bonus.

Welcome to the Drive-In Cup

My favorite items to get out of book boxes are ones that are practical and I can use every day. While I haven’t read the book that this cup is associated with, the print is okay and it’s a plastic cup, which will be nice to have considering I have kids. I like getting kitchen items, and I don’t own many cups anymore since I moved. So this was actually kind of a nice item to receive that I’ll definitely get a lot of use out of.

Enamel Pin

I kind of like this enamel pin even though I don’t know what it is referencing. I’m thinking maybe it’s another item related to Welcome to the Drive-In since the red background looks like a speedometer on a car. I like enamel pins and the Noc Box always gives out cool ones, so I was very happy to add this to my library bag.

Apex Magazine

I had actually never heard of this magazine and was kind of impressed that it came in a nice high-quality paperback print. Apex Magazine is an American horror and science fiction magazine that contains short stories, reviews, and interviews. I’ll definitely be reading this soon since it’s relatively small, and overall this is kind of a cool addition even though I don’t normally read magazines.

Lestat de Lioncourt Post Cards

So when I saw that Anne Rice would be one of the featured authors for this box it was an instant buy. Anne Rice was my teen favorite, and though I haven’t read any of her books in roughly a decade now she’ll always hold a special place in my heart. Not going to lie, I was a little bit disappointed that the items turned out to be post cards. They had previewed one of the prints on the post card and I was hoping that it would be a high quality print that they usually include. They have some great quotes, but the art on on the cards is so dark you can barely see any of the pictures on them, and really I don’t have much of a use for paper goods. I might keep these as back up book marks or use them to write a letter to my best friend, who also shared my love of The Vampire Chronicles in our youth.


The bookmark for this month’s theme was really kind of ugly, there was nothing about it that I liked. Most months have a nice art print on one side and the logo, theme name, and date on the other. This time around though it was just a picture of blood with awful looking text. I’ll still keep it to use in emergencies or if I’m going somewhere and I worry about losing a bookmark.

The Books

Eternal Frankenstein by Ross E. Lockhart

I had a feeling it might be this book since I didn’t see any other horror book releases for this month on Goodreads. It’s an anthology dedicated to Mary Shelley and Frankenstein which could be interesting, though I don’t know much more than that. I’ve yet to read Frankenstein but perhaps this will give me a good reason to read it with this book as a companion.

Two hundred years ago, a young woman staying in a chalet in Switzerland, after an evening of ghost stories shared with friends and lovers, had a frightening dream. That dream became the seed that inspired Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, a tale of galvanism, philosophy, and the re-animated dead. Today, Frankenstein has become a modern myth without rival, influencing countless works of fiction, music, and film. We all know Frankenstein. But how much do we really know about Frankenstein?


Haven by Tom Deady

Of the two books included in the box I’m most excited to read this one. My interest was piqued when I saw a note from Vincent & Jessica stating that this month’s box would contain one of their favorite books they’ve read all year that is seriously underappreciated. The synopsis sounds like everything I’ve been needing from a horror novel, and they are definitely right that the book is under read, having just over 200 ratings on Goodreads as of writing this post. The novel is a Bram Stoker Award winner, so it’s interesting that it’s gone under the radar. At the same time, though, I won’t lie but the font on the cover is atrocious, I would not have picked this book up on my own from that alone.

In 1961, the small town of Haven thought they’d gotten rid of their monster.

After a series of child killings, Paul Greymore was caught carrying a wounded girl. His face, disfigured from a childhood accident, seemed to confirm he was the monster the community hoped to banish. With Paul in prison, the killings stopped.

For seventeen years, Haven was peaceful again. But Paul served his time and has now returned to Haven–the town where he grew up, and the scene of his alleged crimes. Paul insists he didn’t commit those crimes, and several townspeople believe him including the local priest, a young boy named Denny, and his best friend Billy.

Trouble is, now that Paul is back home, the bizarre killings have started again–and the patterns match the deaths from Haven’s past. If Paul isn’t the killer, who is?

Or WHAT is? An unlikely band of adventurers attempts to uncover the truth, delving into long-hidden tunnels that might actually be inhabited by a strange, predatory creature.


Box Review

Box Value
After estimating some average prices on the items in the box, I came up to a total of roughly $86. A little less bang for your buck compared to the boxes that I received last year. With the magazine technically counting as a third book and the t-shirt being a higher priced item in the box I was not at all surprised that the other items were a little cheaper and I was disappointed that the high quality art print that is usually included in every box was excluded this month. Considering the $35 price point, though, it’s still quite the bargain for the t-shirt and books alone.

Are these items I’d buy?
As with most book boxes yes and no. The shirt definitely a yes, and I can also appreciate the cup though I might not have gone out of my way to buy it. The enamel pin maybe, the compact mirror and post cards are a hard no. The books are a maybe, neither are ones I would have picked up if I was browsing a book store but who knows? Maybe they’ll blow me away and I’ll eat my words.

Would I order again?
Considering I already let my subscription renew for next month’s “The End is Near” box, I think the safe answer is yes. I get the impression that it might feature some post apocalyptic fiction? Seeing as at least two of the author’s on the featured list have written end of the world type stories. I’m a little apprehensive, because I LOVE post apocalyptic fiction but… The genre can be either really good or really stale and cheesy. If the new release book is what I think it is, though, I’m already thrilled!

Final Thoughts
Not bad, though a little underwhelming compared to other boxes in the past. The August 2017 box I got last year is still one of my all-time favorite book boxes I’ve ever received and I still use the items I got in that box regularly, so perhaps my expectations have become pretty high from this box. After looking at other unboxings from 2018 they seem pretty hit or miss in my opinion. I’ll always love the Nocturnal Readers’ Box, though, as they are a genuinely good business with some great ideas.

How did you like this month’s box?
Are you interested in Nocturnal Reader’s Box or Book Boxes in general?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!


  1. This is a super cool subscription box! Personally, I don’t like to get these boxes myself, but I love unboxing posts. I hope you will continue to do these! In particular, I love your full box review section at the end. I’ve never seen anyone explore the overall box value; I found it quite interesting.

    I don’t enjoy horror in any medium, so this isn’t a box for me. That said, I am intrigued by Eternal Frankenstein! I love anthologies… this might be a book I should actually look into! I am certainly anticipating your future review.
    Jackie B recently posted…Between the Lines: In Defense of Fluffy ReadsMy Profile

    1. Aw thank you Jackie. 🙂 Yeah the Noc Box always has some cool stuff in it, it’s one of my absolute favorites. Also yeah, I like assessing the value of things, book boxes are nice but are usually SO much more expensive just to get some useless swag items with a book. So I like to assess how useful the items are and how much it’s actually worth the sub price.

      I’ll probably read Eternal Frankenstein sometime over the summer or fall and review it. ^_^ Hopefully it’s good!

  2. I’m a little picky when it comes to books I read–I really need to be in a certain mood to read something, so surprise bookish boxes MIGHT not be for me. It’s cool that you’re going to give these books a shot though, and I SO hope you love them and that they’re worth your money. xD The shirt is a total score though!!! ♥
    Aimee (Aimee, Always) recently posted…LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff: A Hot, Overly-Dramatic Mess of Limbs and Robot PartsMy Profile

    1. Absolutely agree, the box is worth it for the shirt alone. The titles this month are definitely obscure but I trust the curators to pick good ones.

      There are different themed book boxes (YA Fantasy is the most popular) and there’s a Facebook & instagram group dedicated to collecting hints and making guesses for the monthly book picks, so could always go that route if you didn’t want to be surprised but wanted a specific book + the themed goodies.

  3. I really like the sound of this box even though I haven’t heard of these two books included this time. I love the shirt.

    Unfortunately being the UK I’m not even daring to look t the cost after shipping haha.
    Lauren recently posted…Books and Tea Book Club | June Read-alongMy Profile

    1. Oh yeah I imagine shipping would be killer. There are some UK boxes but they’ve typically been YA Fantasy themed. I’ve wanted to try a few even though I don’t read YA that often, but I just can’t justify the shipping.

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