Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow

Title: Mind Over Monsters
Author: Jennifer Harlow
Series: FREAKS Squad Investigation ~ Book #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She’s no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she’s never learned to master — or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that “neutralizes” ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn’t feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who’s a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

 My Romancing Thoughts:

A light-hearted and fun unconventional tale of the paranormal where two worlds of monsters collide!

Beatrice Alexander is an ordinary school teacher with extraordinary powers. She psychokinetic and knows the ability to move objects with her mind isn't exactly "normal" so she tends to keep to herself. When she accidentally hurts those closest to her, Beatrice is approached by a secret organization of the FBI, the F.R.E.A.K.S., the Federal Response to Extra Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals division (clever, right?) and decides to leave books and teaching behind to dedicate her time hunting down monsters. In F.R.E.A.K.S. Beatrice has found a family and acceptance, even among the sexy vampire and werewolf members. With her training complete she's ready to get out and kick some monster butt, but her first mission to find a necromancer creating zombies will have Beatrice questioning her choice to become the F.R.E.A.K. she's tried so hard to hide.

Mind Over Monsters is a stellar debut in urban fantasy! I was surprised at the cheeky humor in this book but it totally works against the dark urban fantasy backdrop. The author chose a diverse group of characters that perfectly mesh, even with their different personalities, a werewolf and vampire sleeping under the same roof, who would of thought?! There's always a bit of gore when it comes to dealing with zombies but I was never disgusted enough to put the book down! Beatrice is a fantastic leading lady who has some of the best one-liners, but also kicks ass when the occasion calls for it, her narrative voice really draws you into the story. My favorite element to this story has to be the awkward but intriguing love triangle developing between Will, the werewolf, Beatrice and Oliver, the vampire. The chemistry between these characters is electric and the author knows just how to keep it interesting with the always-present tension.

Jennifer Harlow has created a brand new dramatic world of monsters with plenty of mystery, an exceptional heroine and a compelling cast of characters. The story never fails to entertain and keeps you engrossed with all the action and suspense. Mind Over Monsters is a paranormal mystery that includes hungry zombies in graveyards, ghouls, close encounters with a werewolf, vampire attacks and a lesson in zombie babysitting...why wouldn't you want to read it for yourself?! Having us wait until Fall 2012 for the sequel is just torture!

My Rating


"I don't care if the Creature from the Black Lagoon takes over Chicago, I am so taking tomorrow off. I've been chomped on by zombies, bitten by a vampire, and held off a nuclear blast. Huh, maybe I'll take a week off."

"One gorgeous man bringing me cake in bed, another carrying me to dinner. This job certainly has its perks."

Romancing the Darkside Recommends: For fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and zombies who love their paranormal/urban fantasy stories with a good dose of humor!


  1. Great review. I also read and reviewed this book and love it. I can't wait for the next book to come out.

  2. You are both so sweet. Thank you so much. It's wonderful bibliophiles like you that drive up my numbers and boost my ego.


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