*Disclaimer: All the pictures used in this post belong to me. This post is not sponsored. Everything written here is just my opinion.
I wasn’t going to make this post, but somehow for some reason, it felt necessary. The new schedule I made consisted of me uploading review every Friday, this is either going to be a one-time exception or I just might stick to uploading twice a week, whichever is convenient and well, economical. Content is expensive sometimes. As I write this review, and I actually am writing it the very day I intend to post it, I am still contemplating whether I should continue writing this or not. I’m sure that there are many others who have already reviewed this book, or even read a good chunk of it already, but this is for those who really want to get to know the real experience of getting a recently launched book. Brace yourself for a surprisingly short review, and not one of my usual lengthy essays.
What is BooksNBeyond Box?
Books N Beyond is an Indian Book Subscription Service that also sells Bookish merchandise on its site as well. Books N Beyond is the Dream Project for Papiya and Pankaj, the Founders of the Literary Shop/Book Subscription Box. The first box was launched in January 2017 with a Harry Potter themed Box, and since then, each month has always been graced with a brand new theme that the BnB procures and assembles every month. A lot of these items are exclusive to the BnB brand and are made in collaboration with various artists.
Currently, BnB offers the following Subscription Packs-
The Custom made boxes are customer preference based. They could be of any genre or fandom, all you need is a theme with a basic idea and what should the box include. Based on the information given out by the customer, the rest is on the BnB team to try and make a plan for what all the box must contain and how it must be designed according to the customer’s taste. A lot of the items in the box are exclusive BnB products and designs and the rest are imported items that may or may not take a while to arrive or to arrange. After that, the BnB team will then quote their price and the rest is up to the customer. Some of the custom boxes they’ve curated in the past had the following themes-
The Vampire Academy
The other products available on their site are-
Book Sleeves or Bleeves, that are one of their most sought after products due to their exclusive designs.
Journals & Notebooks
Pins & Badges
To visit their site, click here.
If you have read any of my previous reviews on BooksNBeyond then you must be aware of how much I admire their work. Well, if you didn’t know, now you will. After having found this business a year ago, thing’s have never been the same. It started off with their subscription boxes, to their products and now their book launches. At some point, I’m gonna reach full circle. I have never truly been disappointed in any way by BnB so far, and I hope I never will be. As far as I have experienced, everything from their customer service to their social media handlers, it has been really pleasant.
So far, the scores are:
Social Media Activity: 9/10
Customer Service: 9/10
Let’s get into the real review without further ado,
Romanov by Nadine Brandes
A little something about the author Nadine Brandes. She is the author of Fawkes, Romanov, and the award-winning Out of Time Series. When she’s not busy writing novels about bold living, she’s adventuring through Middle Earth or taste-testing a new chai. Nadine, her Auror husband, and their Halfling son are building a Tiny House on wheels.
The design on the jacket follows up to the back, and under the jacket, the book is black and plain with the name of the book and its author.
Here’s an excerpt from Goodreads.com,
The history books say I died.
They don’t know the half of it.
Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.
Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .
That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.
To buy this book, click here (Amazon.com).
To buy this book, click here (Amazon.in).
Finally, the moment has come when I can finally say that I have read the book I am reviewing. Well, I haven’t read the entire book yet because it just arrived yesterday but, I have only read 6 chapters so far. Even then, I have to say, this book is one of the most interesting novels I have read in a while. I won’t give you any spoilers, but it’s really a must-read for anyone who enjoys historical re-tellings or has an interest in old legends and tales like that of Grigori Rasputin. Well, I hope I haven’t said too much with just that statement already. This summer I wanted to read at least a novel or two, and with my classes possibly starting in a couple of weeks, I’m sure I will be done reading it soon enough. Now that being said, I also read into some of the reviews from GoodReads.co, and well, it has nearly 4 stars out of 5 with over 1.3k ratings. It’s been nearly a month since this book was published, so there weren’t any reviews that really spoke about the book. Though recently while browsing through various WordPress articles, I did read a brief review on it and the person was not sure about certain angles that the brief plot mentions of, and whether it relies heavily on some common tropes that will reduce this book to mediocre. I haven’t come across any of that so far. The story seems to move with a steady pace, and I like the little quirks our protagonist has. This is one book that everyone ought to give a read.
The Matryoshka Enamel Pin
Matryoshka dolls also known as Russian nesting dolls, stacking dolls, or Russian dolls, are the set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The enamel pin here has a black colored finishing. The Matryoshka is pink with slight darker-pink colored flowers and a red shawl. At the back, there is a gold sharp pin with a golden colored clamp.
When I first saw the enamel pin on the BnB Instagram account, I was really charmed by it. It’s so simple, yet such a significant piece. Now, it’s not the only reason why I bought the book, of course, but it definitely was one of them. Another thing I really like about this pin is that it’s an exclusive design fro BnB. As far as I can tell, that’s pretty true because I did look around for similar pins, and while some of them did look similar, they weren’t the same at all. As you can see in the brief plot on the book, the Matryoshka doll seems to play some kind of a significant role, which is for me to know and for you to find out.
Value: 8/10. I paid ₹799 for the book (Discounted price from BnB).
I have always been fascinated by Russian legends and authors, like Leo Tolstoy and Vladimir Nabokov. The novel Anna Karenina is my favorite novel, and Lolita being in the top 5 favorites, by the respective authors. Since the house of Romanov is so popular in history books, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass me by. I was on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway heading back home when I saw the annoucement that there were a few extra copies of the Romanov left, so I was quick to try my luckk and grab one for myself. Everyone had already gotten else, and the anxiousness to read the story for me grew all week long. So, finaly, do I recommend this novel? Yes, I do! It’s a great read and I know it has supernatural and magical elements to it, but it’s still really very interesting. You get a very different perspective on the whole event that went down with the Romanovs.
It’s been forever since I have rushed through a review like this, but in my excitement of for once having read the book I received, I wanted to have my little opinion on it out here.
As always, please feel free to reach out to me via the contact details given on the site. Do comment down below if you have any favorite Russian authors or whether you have purchased the Romanov!
Until the next post,