January 23, 2013

Review: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow

Series: F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
Format: Paperback (from Jennifer Harlow)
Release Date: October 8, 2011
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository 

Beatrice Alexander is no ordinary schoolteacher--she can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing skill she hasn't yet mastered or embraced. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top-secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

With her teammates--among them a handsome former-detective werewolf and an annoying Don Juan vampire who's dead-set on seducing her--Beatrice investigates her first case. Disgustingly dismembered bodies have turned up, bearing bite marks of the undead. Someone--or something--is raising a horde of hideous, bloodthirsty zombies. Armed with Bette, her trusty machete, Beatrice takes on the master of the flesh-devouring corpses, who's guarding a horrifying secret . . .

Featuring a team of monster hunters with unique paranormal abilities, the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series combines humor, suspense, and supernatural crime-fighting.

I've heard a lot of great stuff about MIND OVER MONSTERS by Jennifer Harlow and most of the reviews are saying how hilarious and fun the characters are. I'm always up for a good laugh and  a great story and book 1 of the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad series didn't disappoint. I had several LOL moments and I have to retrain myself from quoting ever other quip lest I spam our Goodreads and Twitter followers with the status updates.

The F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad is like a paranormal version of the X-Men. You have a handful of people living in a tricked out place working for a covert branch of the FBI and they're either otherworlders or  have super mind powers like Beatrice Alexander. Together they stop monsters from wreaking havoc in the clueless world of ordinary humans like me. The secondary characters from the tritagonists to the villains are as well imagined as the main ones, nobody faded in the background. What stood out the most for me was the dialogue and the sarcasm of everyone. Obviously they all have personal issues they deal with on a daily basis and sometimes the littlest thing can set them off in either direction. The resulting banter, especially between Beatrice and the slick, player and vampire extraordinaire, Oliver is hilarious! I can't get enough of these two, when they're in a scene together I pay extra attention, bracing for Oliver to get burned by Beatrice's choice words.

There's a dash of romance but it's not the core of the story although I won't be surprised if Beatrice  finds herself in the middle of a passionate relationship in the upcoming books now that she's adjusted to her new role as a F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Agent. I sure won't mind reading some under the sheets sexy time with Will, the gorgeous werewolf. Another thing that I really like was how the villain was portrayed. I'm used to bad guys being evil through and through but JHarlow infused hers with a touch of humanity making it really hard for me to hate the guy in the end. In fact my heart broke for his plight a little bit, even the most powerful necromancer in the planet deserves a little sympathy. 

MIND OVER MONSTERS is quirky, action-packed Urban Fantasy tale. It has a little bit of everything from paranormals to supernaturals and other otherworldly monsters and devices sure to keep you glued to the pages. JHarlow as a quick and dry sense of humor that I'm sure a lot of you will find appealing as well. Beatrice's comebacks are golden and though I'm Team Will, I won't mind more acid exchanges with Oliver, watching this too-sexy vamp hit on Beatrice only to fall flat on his fangs in LOL funny. Right now I'd put the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad in the same category as Mary Janice Davidson's Undead Series so if you like Supes but a little tired of the serious action and intense romance, give this a whirl. You won't be sorry.

Beatrice & Oliver's Snappy Banters

"You're a walking dead man. I'm not into necrophilia." 

"Eww. Are you really hitting on me in a cemetery? Because that is wrong on so many levels."
"Some find cemeteries highly erotic."
"And some people sleep with sheep."

Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Fan Girls & Boys Welcome


  1. This book sounds like so much fun and exactly what I need! I'm going to go get right this second.

  2. Yay! I really liked this book as well. Great review!

  3. I just read an ARC of her upcoming book What's A Witch To Do and I can't wait to give this series a try. I love her writing! Great review :D
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

    1. She told me WaWtD and this one is related so I think you'll enjoy FREAKS

  4. I'm going to have to buy this. The "And some people sleep with sheep." line had me laughing like crazy :D

    1. Hahaha! I was cracking up the whole time I was reading their scenes

  5. I have heard so many awesome things about this series! I am glad to see your review Braine :)
    Now I am adding it to my list of books to buy next.
    Thanks for the gr8 review :)

  6. This was a great read for me as well, glad you enjoyed it! Great review.

  7. Love the idea of paranormal X-Men, and the witty dialogue sounds like this would be my kind of read. I'll definitely check this out.

  8. Sounds like a great concept, glad that you enjoyed... Beatrice sounds like a nice mc to read about.
    Happy reading, Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

    1. Give this a try Brandish, its not YA but the story is very PG

  9. I'm so glad you ended up loving this book, Braine! This is one of my favorite books and I just ADORE Beatrice and Oliver. The second book is pretty awesome as well--I hope you enjoy it! =D

  10. A Paranormal version of X-men and funny you say. See I get carried away with quotes and I have to rein myself in , so I know what you mean. You sound like you had fun with this one. Awesome review. I had not heard of this one.



  11. I've heard great things of this one, so glad it holds up and is a lot of fun!

    - Jessica @ Book Sake


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