Review: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow

July 19, 2013 Reviews 2 Comments

Review: Mind Over Monsters by Jennifer HarlowMind Over Monsters by Jennifer Harlow
Series: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation #1
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Midnight Ink on 8 October 2011
Pages: 280
Reading Challenges: 2013 Bachelorette Challenge
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Mind Over Monsters is just plain fun. I giggled, oohed and smiled my way through it. Beatrice “Bea” Alexander may be able to control unruly children but she has huge issues managing her ‘gift’ of telekinesis (moving objects with her mind).  She is recruited to the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Superaturals Squad (F.R.E.A.K.S.) after one little incident where she almost kills her brother. This group combats all things freaky that threaten the general populace. Her first case has her dealing with a nutty necromancer who is raising a zombie horde.

Bea quickly feels like she doesn’t belong and her skills don’t match up to those of the other freaks. I loved that she had to hone her ability and initially made lots of mistakes because her victories were that much sweeter. I just wish it took longer for her to become so strong as it  put the other members of the team to shame. She is fairly timid in her everyday interactions but bold when she has her machete Bette in her hand. I preferred the latter even though I enjoyed watching emerge from her safety cocoon. I wish she would lose the sanitised swearing now she has her ‘kick-ass chick’ badge. The secondary characters are surprisingly well fleshed out for a debut novel and it was very satisfying watching them all come together as a team. I actually felt a little sorry for the zombies as they had to take on a teleporting teen, a medium, pyrokinetic and psychometric along with a vampire and werewolf.

There is the start of a love triangle between Bea, Oliver (the vampire) and Will (the werewolf). We’ve all seen the socially awkward, unpopular girl who suddenly has two very hot admirers trope before and it would ordinarily have me groaning with despair but the execution made this one sweet rather than cloying. There is lots of light and shade in the novel with witty banter juxtaposed with some gory zombie scenes. The beginning is a bit slow but once the body count starts rising, the pace becomes unrelenting. The mystery needed some development as it was fairly easy to work out what was going on. The journey Bea went on in order to figure out the baddie though was very enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this novel and if you are in the mood for a light urban fantasy novel, I suspect you will too.

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