Customer Reviews for

Mind Over Monsters (F. R. E. A. K. S. Squad Investigation Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Truthfully, I took a chance and bought this book based solely on

    Truthfully, I took a chance and bought this book based solely on the title and cover.  I am so very glad I did!  Before I was finished with this book, I purchased everything else she had out.  I love the premise, the snarkiness and individuality of the characters, and the smoothness and pacing of the plot.  I always love it when an author comes up with something new and fresh and Jennifer Harlow hit it dead center.  So glad I found this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    LOVED this book!

    Let me begin this review by saying that this book pretty much rocked my socks! I love all things paranormal, so when I started in on this story I quickly discovered that I'd hit the motherload! In this book is the existence of every supernatural entity you could think of: ghouls, zombies, ghosts, trolls, necromancers, werewolves, vampires, ogres and so on. There are also several individuals with psychic abilities ranging anywhere from mediums to pyrokinetics--anything is possible in this book. Aside from the outstanding characters and creatures, this story is very creative and well-written. The storyline is also very fast-paced and the book is extremely hard to put down. The protagonist and narrator, Beatrice, is my kind of gal; she's smart, witty and incredibly fun to read about, and seeing things through her perspective is a fun and exciting experience. One of the things I love most about her is how much she grows throughout the novel. She starts off being scared, unsure and isolated because of her gift as a telekinetic; but over the course of the story she ends up being more self-aware and a total badass! Joining the "F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad" proves to be a very dangerous but rewarding experience for Bea. Her first assignment involves a grueling investigation to stop a murderous necromancer and this process involves a lot of blood, sweat and danger--and the wielding of a machete (yes, Bea's cool like that!). My favorite thing ever is a female character holding her own and kicking some serious butt, and that's exactly what Beatrice did. Another reason to absolutely adore this book is the hot werewolf and the seductive vampire who are both interested in Bea. These two characters couldn't be more different, but they are both extremely desirable nonetheless. Will, the werewolf, is in charge of the "F.R.E.A.K.S." and he's got plenty going for him; he's smokin' hot, strong, and has a lot of integrity. This man also has a very boy-next-door vibe going on that's impossible to resist. Oliver, A.K.A. the most gorgeous man and vampire in the history of EVER, has a devilishly smooth way about him. At first I wasn't sure how to feel about him, because he's one of those guys that you should probably hate but he's just so darn charming that you can't. His interactions with Bea cracked me up every time, and I grew quite fond of him after some of his many layers were peeled back to reveal a kindness under that pompous exterior. It will no doubt be interesting to see how the tension between Bea and these men carries out. This book has quickly become a new favorite of mine and to say that I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this series is a serious understatement. I cannot wait to read more about Bea; with her sassy talk and overall amazing demeanor that will never cease to entertain. So, do yourself a favor and get your hands on this book, because you will not be disappointed!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2014

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  • Posted October 23, 2012

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    I was bitten by the F.R.E.A.K.S. bug!

    This is the debut for Jennifer Harlow and she really nailed it! Using cheeky humour paired with drama and suspense, Harlow has found a winning combination especially when contrasted against the darker nature of the urban fantasy genre. I found myself completely engrossed in the story and more enthralled by the diverse cast of characters. If you’re not into horror have no fear because Harlow expertly pars down on the gore by adding in a humorous narrative and compelling protagonist. And as much as I loved this book, I felt like it took a few chapters for Harlow to really hone in on Bea’s voice. It was sort of a trial by error which is altogether not uncommon for an author’s first book. But once she found it she really rocked it out. As much as I loved the premise of the story, I loved the cast of characters even more. The F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad is full of all-stars! There’s a variety of personas, each one distinctly unique and ultimately loveable. Beatrice is an old-Hollywood loving, sensible yet sarcastic girl who struggles with fitting in. She’s someone who has an infallible sense of dedication despite being shunned by the people close to her. But the best thing about her is her hilarious wit! It’s easy to see why she’s so likeable. Round it out with an amazing list of paranormal side-kicks—from a hunky werewolf to a Don Juan vampire, a gothic teleporter teen, sexy pyromaniac, blind medium and shy auror—and we’ve found ourselves a kick-ass paranormal Ghostbusters, of sorts. Harlow has written a comical yet touching story injected with mystery and intrigue. The characters are dynamic and the chemistry between our Bea and her two supernatural studs is electric. And while Harlow does venture out into some grim territory, the story never strays too far into serious.

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  • Posted August 13, 2012

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    “Favorite phrases: "Like most social outcasts who in

    “Favorite phrases:
    "Like most social outcasts who inherited the shy gene, books became my best friend....Most of my paycheck went to Barnes and Noble. I knew everyone there by name."

    "The moment he knocks one into a tree or a tombstone, another seems to take its place in the line, like a zombie Pez dispenser."

    "I really much prefer zombies without teeth. This is much better. Nice stroll through teh body parts."

    Favorite chapter title:
    A Machete is a Girl's Best Friend
    *************
    The whole book is a joy to read! The above is just a sample of the dialogue throughout. In another writer's hands, this could have become annoying, but Jennifer Harlow writes soft snark wonderfully.
    I could easily identify with Beatrice and her love of solitude and books. Her involvement with FREAKS is exactly how it would go 'in real life'...Beatrice is amazed to be asked to join and even more astounded to find out who (and what) she'll be working with.

    I cannot wait to read the rest of the series as it comes out.

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  • Posted January 7, 2012

    A great start to a new YA paranormal series!

    This is a great start to a new series.

    Beatrice Alexander has been a little different all her life. However, until recently, she was able to mostly hide her abilities by not having a social life and working as an elementary school teacher. Then... her control slipped and she almost mortally hurt her brother.

    To keep from hurting anyone else, she has agreed to be admitted into a secret government group of others with a wide array of paranormal abilities, called the F.R.E.A.K.S squad, where they will help her control and use her abilities to help society not hurt it.

    Her very 1st assignment with the F.R.E.A.K.S involves zombies...
    Don't let the word zombies scare you... this is a light-hearted, easy read and suitable for young adults (lots of flirting, but no explicit sex scenes).

    I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series...

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  • Posted October 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I really enjoyed this book!

    Review by Jen: When we were asked to host a stop on Jennifer's blog tour, I jumped at the chance. Mind Over Monsters is the first book in a new series and the concept jumped out at me. It's all about a secret government group, F.R.E.A.K.S (that's Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals). The main characters include psychics, a vampire, werewolf and so on. In this first tale, the group is in Colorado to investigate a couple of mysterious deaths. As the case progresses, the small, peaceful town they are in turns into zombie central. Where are the zombies coming from? Why are they there?

    I really enjoyed this book. The concept if fun and fresh and the characters are quite interesting. I couldn't put the book down and now and totally bummed that the sequel isn't scheduled to be released until the fall of 2012. The book had mystery, paranormal elements and the hint of a romance to come as the series develops... what more could a girl ask for? I am looking forward to see where this debut author takes this series.

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  • Posted October 23, 2011

    Like paranormal - don't miss this one - it's got it all!

    My thoughts:
    I loved this story! I'm not a huge zombie fan, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book.
    The writing is wonderful. The author's use of the language is superb, giving her words life and making the scenes into images as well. I easily pictured every character and place in my mind through her vivid descriptions and attention to detail.
    The characters are cleverly created and so very easy to invest in. As a licensed elementary teacher, I was thrilled to find one as the main character.
    We are given a little bit of everything paranormal with this story! Each is well developed and given a unique personality.
    The plot is original and entertaining. The reader isn't spoon fed the ideas, but neither is the reader left hunting for them. The story is easy to read, but not elementary in it's development.
    This was my first Jennifer Harlow read, it will not be my last - can't wait for more!

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    OMG I loved this book!

    I saw this book on the Halloween table at Barnes & Noble and decided to check it out. I love zombies, werewolves, and vampires and it seemed to have them all. I couldn't put it down! It was so fast, funny, creepy, and cool! I so enjoyed this book. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Posted September 10, 2011

    Anyone with a taste for the supernatural should check this out!

    I was sucked in from page one. Jennifer Harlow keeps things fun, fast paced and entertaining! I highly recommend this to anyone with a love of fantasy and the supernatural. This book will keep you wanting more from cover to cover!

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    Posted October 16, 2011

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    Posted December 21, 2011

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    Posted November 20, 2012

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