Chupacabra (Marty and Grace #3)

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Chupacabra Book Cover Chupacabra
Marty and Grace
Roland Smith
Young Adult
Scholastic Press
September 24, 2013

Monsters of legend come to life! The third thrilling title in Roland Smith's popular Cryptid Hunters series.

A mysterious creature, a missing girl, and danger at every turn . . .

CHUPACABRA, the riveting sequel to TENTACLES and CRYPTID HUNTERS, reunites Marty and his unusual uncle, cryptozoologist Travis Wolfe, as they search the world for Wolfe's daughter, Grace. Grace has been kidnapped by her grandfather, the ruthless and dangerous Noah Blackwood, who has also stolen the two dinosaur hatchlings Wolfe was raising in secrecy. Now, with word that the mysterious creature known as Chupacabra has been sighted again, Wolfe is torn between his obsession with finding cryptids and his desperate need to rescue his daughter. With trouble at every turn and a dangerous journey ahead, will Marty and Wolfe come face-to-face with the mythic monster? Even more frightening, will they reach Grace before it's too late?


This review will contain spoilers for the previous two books, Cryptid Hunters and Tentacles, as well as Roland Smith’s Sasquatch.

Chupacabra follows up shortly from where Tentacles left off: Grace “willingly” going with Noah Blackwood. By now we know Noah is plenty evil. He is as happy conducting kidnappings as he is killing animals in the prime of their life to have them stuffed for his private collection. And Noah’s interests do not just stop at regular animals. Nor do they stop at simply putting these creatures on display. This madman is obsessed with control; to save Grace from his clutches, Marty will have to get past Noah’s Chupacabra.

Wolfe is ready to make a plan and go in to get Grace back. Marty is right there along with him, although less with the making a plan part. Not willing to leave Grace in Noah’s clutches, Marty and Luther quickly infiltrate Noah’s compound. Along with them is Dylan, the protagonist of Roland Smith’s book Sasquatch (first referenced in Cryptid Hunters). All three boys bring different skills to their team and are hilariously skilled at running circles around Noah’s henchmen. And of course, Grace is not one to just sit idle as a prisoner in Noah’s mansion.

The setting for this book felt better than the previous two. Most of the first book took place in the jungle, which was neat but not terribly distinctive. Then we had an adventure on a ship, which literally left the characters with limited space. This time around, our protagonists are in the enemy’s lair. Noah’s zoo, with his mansion next to it and a secret underground mad science lab underneath, was a fantastic setting. This also does wonders for Noah’s character development, making him darker and more of a true villain.

This time around we get a bit more action and adventure than the previous books. Being in the bad guy’s lair, there is potentially danger around every corner for our heroes. The whole story takes place in about a day, so the time frame makes this adventure more fast-paced. It makes Chupacabra feel a bit longer even though the page count is in the Young Adult age range. The extra action-adventure makes this feel like the high point of the Marty and Grace books. So far, anyway; the fourth and final book could turn out even better than this one. We will find out soon as the story concludes!

April 15, 2018

Tentacles (Marty and Grace #2)

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Tentacles Book Cover Tentacles
Marty and Grace
Roland Smith
Young Adult
Scholastic Press
September 1, 2009

Roland Smith makes his Scholastic debut with a middle-grade adventure novel about the search for a mysterious creature--the giant squid--in this sequel to CRYPTID HUNTERS.

Marty and Grace O'Hara's globe-trotting parents disappeared while on assignment for a nature magazine, and now they're living with their Uncle Wolfe, a scientist fascinated by cryptids--creatures that appear in myths but haven't been proven to exist, such as the Loch Ness Monster. Wolfe is planning an expedition to New Zealand to track a giant squid, and he's rented a huge (and possibly haunted) freighter for the trip. But someone on board is determined to sabotage their mission--and if Marty and Grace keeping poking their noses into things, they might end up the saboteur's next victims!


This review will contain spoilers for the previous book in the series, Cryptid Hunters.

Tentacles picks up shortly after the end of Cryptid Hunters. The premise of this book was hinted at towards the end of the previous story. Instead of dinosaurs in the jungle, this time around our characters are hunting a kraken! Ok, not really a kraken. Just a giant deep-sea squid, but those are thought to have inspired ancient stories about the kraken sea monsters. Marty and Grace accompany their Uncle Wolfe on another adventure, this time also joined by Marty’s friend Luther.

The characters carry over well from the first story, being just as entertaining as in Cryptid Hunters. We get to delve a little deeper into their character development, particularly with Grace and her now known lineage. The new characters, namely Marty’s friend Luther, are just as entertaining as well. Luther was entertaining, but his main role seems to be giving Marty a needed sidekick so that Grace can do her own thing as her character develops. Marty and Grace are still close, but it is not just the two of them with bad guys on their trail this time around.

Carrying over from the first book, Tentacles still features the Mokélé-mbembé (dinosaurs) from the first book. While the cover monster was critical to the plot of Cryptid Hunters, the same cannot be said for the Architeuthis (giant squid) in Tentacles. Our villain Noah Blackwood is still primarily after Grace and the dinosaurs, with the giant squid being an afterthought. The deep-sea fishing seems important for changing the setting and not much else. There is still a role in the story for the giant squid, but the dinosaurs are clearly our frontrunner cryptids.

While Tentacles is a good book, it was not as entertaining as Cryptid Hunters. Cryptid Hunters felt standalone; enough was still open at the end for this sequel, but it could have gone either way. Tentacles very much feels like part of a series, with blatant unanswered questions by the end of the story. Maybe Roland Smith did intend for Cryptid Hunters to be just one story, but Scholastic offered to do a series because it sold well. I have no proof whatsoever that it went down like that, but it is what I imagine happening. Either way, Tentacles is still plenty entertaining enough and serves as a solid lead-in for the next story.

April 8, 2018

Cryptid Hunters (Marty and Grace #1)

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Cryptid Hunters Book Cover Cryptid Hunters
Marty and Grace
Roland Smith
Young Adult
December 27, 2004

After their parents are lost in an accident, thirteen-year old twins Grace and Marty are whisked away to live with their Uncle Wolfe-an uncle that they didn't even know they had! The intimidating Uncle Wolfe is an anthropologist who has dedicated his life to finding cryptids, mysterious creatures believed to be long extinct.


Cryptid Hunters is one of the few non-Goosebumps and non-Animorphs books I read as a kid that stuck with me. First of all, there is a dinosaur on the cover. What kid does not love dinosaurs? Especially those of us who grew up with Jurassic Park as their favorite movie (i.e. me). The book follows twin siblings Marty and Grace on their first adventure. Marty is the adventurous type with enough curiosity and cleverness to get himself into trouble. Grace is just as smart as her brother, if not more so, but would take books over adventure any day. But things get strange when their journalist parents mysteriously disappear.

With mom and dad missing, the twins are taken away from their boarding school to live with their Uncle Wolfe. Who they did not know they had and have never heard of before. Their estranged uncle makes his career as a cryptozoologist. In Cryptid Hunters own words:


Cryptozoology (CRIP-tuh-zoh-AW-luh-jee) noun

The study of animals, such as the Sasquatch, the Yeti, the Loch Ness monster, the Chupacabra, and others, whose existence has not yet been proven scientifically. There are thought to be more than two hundred cryptids in existence today.


So, monster hunters. Uncle Wolfe is a monster hunter. But the cool kind; the kind who owns a private island, employs a team of experienced (and awesome) adventurers, and uses a bunch of neat gadgets. Things go from odd to complicated when a strange woman shows up on the island and suddenly it is time for a dinosaur hunt. And when Marty’s shenanigans get the twins parachuted into the middle of the Congo. Oops. Not to mention Uncle Wolfe is not the only one hunting for a dinosaur. His nemesis Noah Blackwood sends his own henchmen who are willing to do anything, or hurt anyone, to please their boss.

As I said at the beginning, this book has stuck to my memory over the years. It was no Harry Potter, but enjoyable enough that I have recommended it to my little siblings and cousins over the years. Going back to read it as an adult, it holds up as a solid book. The characters are likable and intelligent, with Marty and Grace running circles around the adults. The sci-fi techy portion holds up as well, with these decade plus old ideas being on par with a lot of modern technology. Plus, you know, dinosaurs! All in all there are nothing but good things to say about this book.

April 1, 2018

Tomb Raider (2018)

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Poster for the movie "Tomb Raider"

Tomb Raider

Her legend begins

20181 h 58 min

Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.

Director Roar Uthaug
Runtime 1 h 58 min
Release Date 8 March 2018
Movie Media Cinema
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Good

Tomb Raider (2018) is a soft reboot based on the popular video game franchise. Thankfully, this turned out to be a much better adaptation than the early 2000’s films featuring Angelina Jolie. Given that the Tomb Raider games were also rebooted a few years ago, doing the same with the films fits. Specifically this film is based off the first game of the new continuity, which itself starts an origin story trilogy. There are some differences between the film and game, but many other aspects are on the nose. Overall it does a fantastic job of fitting within the franchise and is one of the best video game movies to date.

For readers unfamiliar with Lara Croft (Alicia Vikander), she is one of the most well-known women among video game protagonists. She is a bit like a female Indiana Jones, but if Indiana Jones was much more of a badass. Intelligent, athletic, and skilled in combat and survival, Lara travels the world searching for ancient artifacts and archeological treasures (often just one step ahead of villainous organizations). Her origin has changed a few times as the series has rebooted over the years. Tomb Raider (2018) focuses on the character’s most recent incarnation.

Typically, video game movies do not work. Most of them just end of being bad. Lo and behold, taking a story from the video game format (a “short” video game usually being about 8 hours long) and transitioning that to a 90- to 120-minute format usually falls flat. Tomb Raider, thankfully, was a reprieve from that.  This was probably the best video game film made thus far. It is a bit better than the average good ones, like Prince of Persia and Hitman, and phenomenally better than the usual results like Doom or BloodRayne.

As a standalone film, Tomb Raider just works. There are plenty of allusions to the game that long-time fans will appreciate. Just little nods here and there that show the filmmakers acknowledge and appreciate the source material. That said, they also made the wise decision of changing things around a bit. They did not completely follow the events of the game, and that is fine. The changes here made the film more appealing to a general audience while still working within the story. This is Lara’s origin story; viewers should not (and do not) need to know anything about her going in. Seeing as the Tomb Raider (2013) game is the first of a trilogy, hopefully this excellent film follows suit.

March 25, 2018

Overlord, Vol. 6: The Men of the Kingdom Part II

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Overlord, Vol. 6: The Men of the Kingdom Part II Book Cover Overlord, Vol. 6: The Men of the Kingdom Part II
Kugane Maruyama
Yen On
January 30, 2018 (English); January 31, 2014 (Japanese)

The underground organization known as Eight Fingers and their strongest fighters, the Six Arms, make their move. Blue Rose, the adamantite-rank group of adventurers led by Lakyus, prepares to take them on. As the knights head to the front lines to protect the princess, the mysterious demon Jaldabaoth lurks in the chaos of this critical battle, and the capital descends into an uproar swathed in crimson flames.


Note: This review will assume you are caught up on the previous Overlord novels.

The Men of the Kingdom, Part II is where things start to pick up again in Overlord. After the slower pacing of Vol. 4 and Vol. 5, this book probably has more action than the two combined. From how the last book mainly followed Sebas and this is Part II, initially it seemed like that would continue. However, more of the cast is involved this time around as the story starts to circle back onto Ainz. Not fully, but it is nice to see the main character in the spotlight again after two books with him mostly in the background.

The events of the previous novel are wrapped up nicely here. The little loose threads are sewn up and we get a nice conclusion for Sebas’ character development arc. It seems like all the Guardians (and those of similar status, i.e. Sebas) are getting at least one story where they feature and get to grow. This is fantastic as a lot of similar stories would make them two-dimensional and have them sit by the wayside.

Partway through the story shifts from wrapping up Vol. 5 to getting the stage set for future books. This is where we start to get development for other characters. Namely we are treated to a fight featuring one of the Pleiades battle maids, Entoma. This is one of the few real fights we have had in the series and the first since Ainz fought Shalltear in Vol. 3. We also get to see Ainz fighting much more hardcore in his Momon guise than ever before. And of course, there are the many scenes featuring Demiurge. Without spoiling anything, let’s just say he is a demon in every sense of the word.

While all the action was great, the change of pace was a little sudden. Since Volumes 4 & 5 (and part of this book) were on the slower side, the faster pace comes a bit out of left field. Because there are multiple fight sequences, none of them felt as detailed as they could have been. Granted these are light novels and that presents something of a problem with the page limit. But for a fantasy book (and even compared to Vol. 3) the amount of detail felt lacking during the battles. Maybe that was more an effect of the translation to English; I did spot multiple grammar errors in my copy, so the translation was not perfect. Nonetheless, things picked back up enough to make the book very enjoyable and leave readers looking forward to Vol. 7.

March 18, 2018

Dauntless (The Lost Fleet #1)

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Dauntless Book Cover Dauntless
The Lost Fleet
Jack Campbell
January 1, 2006

The Alliance has been fighting the Syndics for a century--and losing badly. Now its fleet is crippled and stranded in enemy territory. Their only hope is a man who's emerged from a century-long hibernation to find he has been heroically idealized, beyond belief...

Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend...


Dauntless starts off right in the middle of action. Two forces, the Alliance and the Syndicate, have been at war for a century. Believing that they could strike a critical blow against their enemies, the Alliance fleet has flown into a trap. With their leadership dead and forces surrounded the situation seems hopeless. But on the way to the battle the fleet stumbled across a survival pod. 100 years old and almost out of power, the pod contained Captain John “Black Jack” Geary. Having fought valiantly in the first battle of the war, he became the Alliance poster child to raise morale. Now the legend has returned and is the fleet’s best hope of getting home.

That little description makes this book sound way more epic than readers may see it as, but it is accurate. But that is the premise of our story: cut off behind enemy lines, our heroes must fight their way home. Geary comes from a different time and is quickly forced to adjust to the changes of the last century. War is hell and as it raged each side has committed atrocities that grow to match the monstrous actions of their enemies in a vicious cycle of retribution.

Now to talk about the key thing in any space fleet series: space battles. Jack Campbell does a unique job with the battles here. Physics are actually taken into account, something practically unheard of in fiction on the whole. Is that ship a light hour away from us? Ok, the image we are seeing is what they were doing an hour ago. Can we go faster? No, our ship’s mass will increase and it will tear itself in two. This is not Star Wars where we have little starfighters dogfighting in space. Ships fly past each other faster than human perception can keep up with. Combat is a pure tactics game of outmaneuvering your enemy.

Main character John Geary is interesting, but the rest of the characters are a bit plain. For the most part, the rest of Dauntless’ cast did not get too much time for development. This being the first book makes that understandable. Now is the time for world-building and character development can ramp up later. The page count in Dauntless (and the Lost Fleet series in general) is not that high either. Limited space for plot, characterization, and so forth. While Dauntless would probably not rank among the greats of sci-fi, it is a good light read (especially for those of us who are suckers for space operas).

March 11, 2018

A Dance of Blades (Shadowdance #2)

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A Dance of Blades Book Cover A Dance of Blades
David Dalglish
November 5, 2013 (original publication April 11, 2011)

It's been five long years since the city learned to fear...

In book #2 of the Shadowdance series, the war between the thief guilds and the powerful allegiance known as the Trifect has slowly dwindled. Now only the mysterious Haern is left to wage his private battle against the guilds in the guise of the Watcher - a vicious killer who knows no limits. But when the son of Alyssa Gemcroft, one of the three leaders of the Trifect, is believed murdered, the slaughter begins anew. Mercenaries flood the streets with one goal in mind: find and kill the Watcher.

Peace or destruction; every war must have its end.


A Dance of Blades is the rare second book in the series that is just better than its predecessor. The first book felt like it just kind of stopped at the end. Things were really ramping up and then suddenly it was just over. That set-up makes A Dance of Blades feel more like a “part 2” than an independent novel. Granted, there is a time skip. This book picks up 5 years after A Dance of Cloaks. If things had picked up immediately where the story left off, we would have been given a very different novel.

Firstly, the time-skip makes everyone a bit older, giving characters the chance to develop a bit outside the story. The younger characters are given time to hone their skills and mature a little. The older characters sink further into their ways, becoming more bitter as the war for the city’s underworld goes on. It also allows time for the city and factions in the conflict to recover following the giant battle in the previous book. If there were big battles all the time, the story would not be believable. Giving characters down-time and showcasing major events plays out extremely well here.

Along with the old characters, we get a few new ones. New players in the game such as Ghost and Deathmask are wonderful additions to the story. No one in the Shadowdance books is truly a hero or villain; they all lie somewhere in-between and that makes the story much more real. None of the major characters are clichés. We get to see their mental states and how they are all struggling with what they view as the right thing to do. Decisions are made on emotion just as much as logic, giving all the characters the feel of being real people.

The world building, a key feature is any fantasy series, starts to ramp up here as well. Magic becomes more prevalent and its rules start to get explained a bit more. Since reading the Shadowdance series I have learned that it is a prequel to Dalglish’s Half-Orc series (which I have not read yet at the time of this writing) so there may be things I missed here. Overall though, it does a great job at being a sequel and sets things up nicely for the next installment in the series.

March 4, 2018


Published Post author

Poster for the movie "Fletch"


Meet the only guy who changes his identity more often than his underwear.

19851 h 38 min

A veritable chameleon, investigative reporter Irwin "Fletch" Fletcher might drive his editor up the wall, but he always produces great pieces for the newspaper. When his next story is about the drug trade taking place on the beach, Fletch goes undercover as a homeless man. Unaware of Fletch's true identity, businessman Alan Stanwyk offers Fletch $50,000 to kill him. Intrigued, Fletch decides to unearth the full story behind the offer.

Director Michael Ritchie
Runtime 1 h 38 min
Release Date 31 May 1985
Movie Media DVD
Movie Status Available
Movie Rating Excellent

Fletch is one of the great cult classics of the 80’s. Set as a crime/mystery film, it also wound up being a comedy and that feels somewhat intentional. Fletch is a film that takes itself seriously; there are not purposeful jokes scattered around like in Stripes or Uncle Buck. Fletch (the character) is a comical man but that is pretty much expected since it is Chevy Chase. We do not see him in a diehard comedy role here like in Caddyshack or Christmas Vacation, but it is still Chevy Chase. Comedy is what he knows how to do and that results in Fletch being a wisecracker. If a different actor had played the character, this could have been a thriller instead of a comedy.

Chevy Chase plays the character well and, in a way, plays multiple roles. As an investigative journalist, Fletch uses disguises to get information for his stories in the papers. We see him successfully using multiple disguises throughout the film as he delves deeper into the mystery. Granted, being a little too good at his disguises is what gets Fletch into this mess in the first place. And even throughout multiple personas, his one-liners persist and keep audiences entertained.

As far as mysteries go, Fletch is a more light-hearted film. There is a nefarious scheme here, but it is not something with major consequences if the heroes fail. Think less Goldfinger and more North by Northwest. The mix of classic crime/mystery with Chevy Chase’s touch of comedy really makes this film unique. That being said, you do need to be a fan of Chevy Chase and his dry sense of humor to fully enjoy the movie. It would be a stretch to say his quips are comedic gold, but his dialogue is very well written here.

Fletch is not as well known as Caddyshack or the Vacation movies, but it is certainly on par with them. If anything, Fletch is Chevy Chase’s best work (I personally think his only other film that can compete with it is Christmas Vacation). Again, this was not really intended to be a comedy. But Chevy Chase is Chevy Chase. He is one of those actors where you can do whatever you want to him, you could dress him in a suit and have him as a straight-faced lawyer, but at the end of the day it is still Chevy Chase. And that is what made Fletch really work as a cult classic (unintentional) comedy.

February 25, 2018

Five Nights at Freddy’s: The Silver Eyes

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The Silver Eyes Book Cover The Silver Eyes
Five Nights at Freddy's
Scott Cawthon & Kira Breed-Wrisley
December 17, 2015

Based on the bestselling horror video game series, Five Nights at Freddy’s follows a young woman named Charlotte, who reunites with her childhood friends on the anniversary of the tragedy that ripped their town apart. It’s been exactly ten years since the murders at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and Charlotte, who goes by the name Charlie, has spent the last ten years trying to forget. Her father had owned Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, and had built its four adult-sized animatronic animals. After meeting up with her friends, curiosity leads them back to the old pizza place, and they find it hidden, but still standing. They discover a way inside, but things are not as they used to be: the four mascots that delighted and entertained them as children have changed. The animatronic animals have a dark secret, and a murderous agenda.


Five Nights at Freddy’s (the game) is a pretty popular survival-horror hit, something of a modern cult classic. Personally, I have not played the game but when I saw there was a book I thought, “Hey, I could use this to get into it.” Unfortunately, the book had its fair share of issues. If anything, it did more to deter readers who are not already familiar with the franchise. That in and of itself may have been a key issue though; maybe the book makes the most sense if you have already played the game. It is not that the story could not be followed standalone, but maybe knowing the other story from the game would have made it flow better. Although author Scott Cawthon has said the games and book are not in the same continuity.

Scott Cawthon is, you must remember, a game developer. He is not a full-time, professional author. That being said, you should not expect The Silver Eyes to be on par with Stephen King or Anne Rice. The writing here is…ok. It is not bad (there are certainly worse books out there) but books and video games are very different mediums. In game form, the story of Five Nights at Freddy’s is probably told much better considering the popularity of the franchise.

The characters here are fairly bland and, for the most part, fairly stupid. So, they fit the role of teenagers in pretty much any standard horror story. If the characters have the proper amount of IQ points, it is not really horror. But The Silver Eyes did feel very “not horror” for the level of danger presented to the characters. The video games seem scary because if you mess up your character is brutally murdered. The animatronics were threatening, but not that threatening in the book. It felt a lot more R.L. Stine than anything else.

There were a bunch of unanswered questions in The Silver Eyes as well. I know that the video games leave a lot to speculation so maybe the book was trying to emulate that? It is never really clear if the animatronics are just malfunctioning robots or if they are haunted. From what I have read up on regarding the games, it seems like they are supposed to be haunted. Up until the very end though the book does not convey this and even then, it seems sketchy. Oh well, maybe the game is better.

February 18, 2018

Intimacy on the Plate

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Intimacy on the Plate (Extra Trim Edition): 200+ Aphrodisiac Recipes to Spice Up Your Love Life at Home Tonight Book Cover Intimacy on the Plate (Extra Trim Edition): 200+ Aphrodisiac Recipes to Spice Up Your Love Life at Home Tonight
Olga Petrenko
Identity Publications
July 28, 2017

Every couple knows that the key to a harmonious home is a healthy love life, but keeping your time in bed spicy isn’t enough – you need to turn to the kitchen and amp up the flavor.

Olga Petrenko is a housewife who dedicated years of her life to crafting original dishes that combine tradition with innovation, creating new tastes that everyone can enjoy. In the process, she discovered something new: by applying scientific research to her recipes and by using the correct ingredients, all meals had the potential to be the perfect aphrodisiac. After a decade of hard work and experimentation, she finally had an extensive collection of recipes designed to make every bite erotic - Intimacy On The Plate: 200+ Aphrodisiac Recipes to Spice Up Your Love Life at Home Tonight

Every dish in this erotic cookbook pays as much attention to presentation as to flavor and science. If you want to create the right mood for your loved one, you need to feed the eyes before you feed the stomach. Olga has worked hard to make every sensual meal beautiful and visually appetizing so that you and your partner will feel the food love before you even sit down to eat.

Within these pages, you’ll find 200+ healthy, easy-to-cook recipes known around the world to contribute to sexual desire. Using a wide range of ingredients, including dozens of types of vegetables, mushrooms, fish, seafood, fruits, nuts, herbs, and spices, you and your partner will experience the full range of erotic properties the world of food has to offer. You’ll never run out of new and exciting places to take your meals. From appetizers, to main courses, to side dishes, beverages, and desserts, you’ll always have something scintillating to offer up on date night.


Intimacy on the Plate was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Food is a topic that goes hand-in-hand with human culture. It does not matter which culture you are referring to; anywhere on Earth, food plays a part in society. On the topic of Intimacy on the Plate, people have long since used food when it comes to love. When someone says the phrase “go on a date”, what do you think of? The specific answer may vary a little from person to person but I bet food was involved. Understanding just how this works can really help to spice up your love life.

209 is a lot of recipes and they are broken up into sections. First, there is a section on vegetables, then fish, and so on and so forth. The beginning of each section highlights a variety of key ingredients and how they affect the libido. Some of this information involves modern science, citing how the ingredients can affect hormone levels, increase blood flow, and have other such effects on the body. Other information details how various ancient cultures correctly associated these foods with romance. Another important note includes the different effect that some foods have between male and female physiology.

This information is all useful as well as interesting but of course, the bulk of the book is the actual recipes. For this review, I decided to try out two of these dishes myself. The first of which was “Baked Cod with Cheese Sauce”. The cod itself was fairly simple here, just needing to be thawed in preparation. The cheese sauce (which I will be somewhat vague on as to not give the recipe away freely) was primarily parmesan cheese and sour cream with various herbs mixed in. Pour it over the cod and bake. Normally, I am personally not a fan of sour cream. But this fish was absolutely divine. It is now in my own cookbook as a go-to recipe for guests.

Needing a dessert to go with the main dish, I also tried the “Chocolate Velvet” recipe. Primarily dark chocolate with white chocolate on top, this dessert ended up with a unique texture. It felt somewhere in-between pudding and mousse and was impossible to put down. Needless to say, I ate far more of it than I intended in a single sitting. With how delightful both of these recipes turned out, I will surely be trying more from Intimacy on the Plate in the future.

February 11, 2018