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

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  893 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 8th 2011 by Midnight Ink (first published October 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jan 20, 2012 Lighthearted rated it it was ok
The premise of this book is intriguing. Beatrice’s fellow squad members include a reticent werewolf, an obnoxious vampire, an elegant pyrokinetic, a teleporting teenager, a baby-faced psychometric and a blind medium. Bea’s first case with the group involves evidence of a necromancer in the small town of Bridge Stone, Colorado: he or she is raising zombies, but why and can they stop him before anyone else falls victim?

I wanted to like this book. It’s a first novel and there is definitely potentia
Lori {Romancing the Dark Side}
Romancing the Dark Side Review:

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
Oct 18, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Mind Over Monsters is very well written with characters I love and can’t wait to read more about them. I’ve not read many books where the author titles each chapter but I really like it, cause it sets the tone for what’s coming up and with a chapter entitled “A Machete Is a Girl’s Best Friend” you know that the book is freaky funny.

Mind Over Monsters is a great urban fantast read with mystery, some gore (it’s going to get messy when you start cutting up zombies), and there is also a little roman
Dec 26, 2011 Shanon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite, first-reads
My reviews can also be found at:

First I would like to thank the author, Jennifer Harlow, for sending me this book! I won it in a goodreads giveaway and she was nice enough to also send me an awesome bookmark, a list of songs on the playlist for the book, and a very nice card/note.

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
Nov 26, 2012 Parajunkee rated it really liked it
PJV Quickie: ‘Mind over Monsters’ is one of my favorite surprise reads of the year. Fun, witty and a bit of sexy, the characters are over the top enjoyable and the story is interesting and suck-you-in good. Hello Jennifer Harlow. It’s nice to meet you. Can I have some more?

Review: Jennifer Harlow introduces to a fun mix of characters and at their center is Beatrice Alexander. Beatrice is a schoolteacher who has an inexplicable talent of moving things with her mind. She has never been comfortable
Stephanie (Bookfever.♥)
The author, Jennifer Harlow, contacted me to review this book. First of all, a huuuuuge thanks to her for that. If she hadn't I probably wouldn't have read this amazing book any time soon. I almost didn't accept the review request even, but the synopsis drew me in. And also because she sent me the print book had a lot to do with it because I usually only get ebooks because I love in Belgium.

At first I wasn't sure I would like it, but after reading the guest post she send me, where she interview
Diane ~Firefly~
Great book. I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but I really enjoyed the story.

What I enjoyed:
* Beatrice. Her life is changed when she saves a kid and ends up joining the FREAKS squad. Now she is the newbie and on an investigation that quickly gets out of hand and she holds her own.
* The squad. They have very different personalities and powers and are all really interesting characters.
* The mystery. They are called into a small town after two people are mutilated by "animals". Where it all le
Mar 14, 2016 Elisa rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. A fun and silly paranormal Scooby gang mystery except with real zombies who eat a few people. The main character tries pretty dang hard, she fights for her right to fight quite a bit and runs headlong into danger a bit much, but she meant well. The story moved fast enough to keep me interested, though i confess I rolled my eyes once or twice. But it retained my interest and I had a rollicking good time reading it.
It was darker than I expected from the cartoony cover.
Mind Over Monsters was A LOT of fun! I would rate it 4.5 stars if I could, but when deciding which side of the .5 the rating should fall on, I leaned toward 4, but it was indeed a great book!

This book features so many different monsters! You see vampires, werewolves, necromancers, ghouls, zombies, people who can create fire, move things with their mind, teleport, etc - honestly a possessed easter bunny could have shown up and I wouldn't have been surprised. This book really reminded me of X-Men
Sep 29, 2011 Karissa rated it liked it
I got a signed advanced reading copy of this book at Book Expo America. Harlow was great, very fun to talk to. This was a decent book; it is one of those fluffy and fun sort of paranormal books. If you are into that you will like this book; it was a fun read just not all that original.

Beatrice isn't your normal elementary school teacher; she is telekinetic. After she almost kills her brother by accident she joins the F.R.E.A.K Squad (Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals Sq
It was cute. It was really more of a 2.5 star book because of all of the eye-rolling I had to do, but the series has potential and the narrative had a nice, smooth style. I like that the author is a fan of Jennifer Crusie and Sue Grafton but she didn't do such a good job of imitating either. The humor wasn't so bad, but the mystery was pathetic. Really awful, it made them all look just stupid. And the romance and the agent work suffered from the same issue - suddenly this ordinary and relatable ...more
Jennifer  (Books That Hook)
Oct 30, 2015 Jennifer (Books That Hook) rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Despite having been written in present tense, Mind Over Monsters is a great book. It's a fun mixture of horror, action, and comedy. The problem becomes apparent right away, and the pace is kept up the whole way through the book.

To me, this book falls into the urban fantasy category even though the settings are rural, because the book focuses on her government unit's efforts to investigate and contain a zombie outbreak. If the main character had been an untrained civilian, I still wouldn
Roxanne Rhoads
Oct 08, 2011 Roxanne Rhoads rated it it was amazing
What a fabulous debut novel!

Harlow has created an awesome world where the good guys fight the bad- and they all happen to be "monsters"- or in this case the good guys are FREAKS- the Federal Response to Extra Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals.

Yup the government has their own top secret agency full of supernaturals that fight the paranormal bad guys.

Harlow's book is blend of Buffy the Vampire Slayer kick ass girl power style action, dry but witty humor, mystery, all wrapped in a paranormal book t
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
Sep 29, 2011 Jeannie and Louis Rigod rated it really liked it
This review is about a novel that held my attention even though the overall subject, horror, is not my chosen genre. In many ways, the clever, new to me, author was able to make the book a 'cozy' murder mystery, even though she was penning about Vampires, Werewolves, Psychokinetics and more.

Thinking it over, since I am interested in Paranormal like the psycho-fields...I guess it was a good fit for me.

The murders were appropriate to the perpertrators of the crimes, although, a bit gruesome for me
Oct 23, 2011 Beverly rated it really liked it
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 fi
I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book. I wasn't sure it was going to wow me when I accepted the review request but I was pleasantly surprised.

It's a dark, gritty at times, laugh-out-loud funny urban fantasy. The main character, Bea, is snarky, smart, fierce but most importantly real. I could really relate to her and felt things through her eyes. She goes from shy, timid elementary school teacher to a kick-ass F.R.E.A.K.S. agent throug
Oct 09, 2012 Penni rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-book-owned
Mind Over Monsters is a fun and unconventional tale that stands out against others in the urban fantasy genre. Harlow uses clever witticisms and great characters to ground the otherwise horrific nature of the story. If you’re looking for something funny and easy to read with a lovable spook squad then this is the perfect series for you. What a stellar debut for Harlow! Currently devouring book #2 as we speak…

The main character, Bea, is snarky, smart, fierce but most importantly real. She goes f
Sep 09, 2016 AdriAnne rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I wasn't impressed by the cartoon-y cover of this book, which made me assume Mind Over Monsters was going to be a fluffy (and sure, gory) urban fantasy. It IS light-hearted in many parts, with snappy, hilarious dialogue... but by the end of the book, what impressed me was Jennifer Harlow. She brought an appropriate level of gravity to the story, even as funny as it is, and made me truly care about her characters--most especially Bea and Oliver--even though I was resistant at first. Just goes to ...more
Jan 13, 2016 Dakota rated it it was ok
I admit I skimmed to the latter half of the book just to finish but at that point I was just forcing myself to finish. I like the premise of the book, it reminds me of a similar series that I really enjoy. Unfortunately I can not say the same thing here. The thing with 1st POV if I really can't emphatize with the main character, it doesn't work. I couldn't connect with Beatrice, she comes out very judgemental and immature. Might just give this series a pass
Apr 25, 2012 Nora-adrienne rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Fantastic first book in a new series. Our former 4th grade teacher who's gift (or curse depending on how it affects her life) is virtually Shanghaid into a Gov't agency under the pretense of learning how to control her "gift". From that point on she wonders if her name is really Alice and that she's fallen down a hole into Monsterland. You really need to read the book, I'm off to find the next one in the series.

I got it from my public library.
Sandy Lu
Sep 06, 2011 Sandy Lu rated it it was amazing
With a coy blend of whimsy and vivid imagination, Jennifer Harlow delivers both humor and horror in an action-packed zesty brew of fantasy, mystery, and romance. At turns vulnerable and ferocious, equally sardonic and sweet, Beatrice Alexander is a heroine that combines the best qualities of Buffy, Stephanie Plum and Sookie Stackhouse.

Of course, as the agent of the book, I may be biased!
Jun 19, 2013 Froggarita rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The characters are so interesting you just can't help root for them! It had me flipping through the pages like something was chasing after me because I could not put this book down! Great first book to the series!! If you love paranornal you will love this book! It has a bit of everything!
Jan 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Fluffy fun with light romance. Could be given to high schoolers.
Lynn Aoude
Oct 30, 2016 Lynn Aoude rated it it was ok
interesting premise though quite a bit of things annoyed me about this book. 1st we have the fact that Bea, an elementary school teacher, seems more accomplished as a detective than the rest of her squad, especially Will who has more than a decade put in as a detective before even being bitten and becoming a F.R.E.A.K. And do not tell me all the credit goes to her reading and TV addictions. Then we have Bea's internal voice. Most of the time the book didn't feel like a story, but had the feel of ...more
Dark Faerie Tales
Mar 03, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Review Courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: This paranormal mystery starts off a little slow but then picks up for an enjoyable ending.

Opening Sentence: I was surprised to find that a man who wore a three-thousand-dollar suit was staying at the Comfort Inn.

The Review:

Beatrice Alexander is a psychokinetic. She can move objects with her mind. The bigger the object, the more it takes out of her. So when she saves her student from being run over by lifting a Hummer over them, she spends s
Bill Blume
May 30, 2012 Bill Blume rated it really liked it
First things first, I want to give a shout out to Fountain Bookstore's owner Kelly Justice for tipping me off to this book. Kelly and Fountain are the best argument anyone can make forindependent booksellers. Part of the reason Kelly suggested MIND OVER MONSTERS to me is that the writer Jennifer Harlow is a fellow Virginian. Virginia fantasy writers rule!

Ahem, that said, let's get on with the review.

What I Liked:

Harlow has a great writing voice. Her pacing and delivery works great for this book.
Nov 27, 2012 Nikki rated it really liked it
Full Review at Foil the Plot

Beatrice Alexander isn’t your average school teacher—she’s able to move things with her mind, albeit not very well. After a series of hazardous accidents, one nearly killing her brother, she’s offered a job at the FBI. Only it’s not quite the FBI you and I know—think more like Men in Black than The Siege. Beatrice joins a special unit known as the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals aka the “F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad where she will learn to master he
Jun 14, 2012 Radella rated it liked it

please read the full review at

Beatrice Alexander is a former schoolteacher with a big secret- she can move things with the power of her mind. When her secret draws a little too much attention, a secret branch of the FBI recruits her to the cause. After two months of intense training, she finally meets her new team, aptly called the FREAKS squad. She barely has time to meet her coworkers before they are sent off to deal with a necromancer plaguing a small
Lucy Dosch
Feb 24, 2014 Lucy Dosch rated it it was amazing
Beatrice Alexander is an ordinary elementary school teacher, that is normal and ordinary for a teacher who is psychokinetic and can raise the furniture in her room during a bad dream. Two things have happened that will change Beatrice’s life. First, she saved a student from being run over by knocking him down,…and lifting the car over their heads (no one noticed, right?) and she almost killed her brother during an argument. Her brother—half-brother—may have been the first person to call her a ...more
Stephanie  G
Oct 27, 2011 Stephanie G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

Beatrice Alexander is a school teacher, a school teacher that can move stuff with her mind. She has tried to keep this to herself, but when a student almost gets hit by a car, she floats the car. This draws the attention of the governments F.R.E.A.K.S, Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. They ask her to join, and end up talking her into it. Beatrice’s first mission with the group has to do with why the dead are rising in a small town, and eating a select few.

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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 ...more
More about Jennifer Harlow...

Other Books in the Series

F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation (5 books)
  • To Catch A Vampire (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #2)
  • Death Takes a Holiday (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #3)
  • High Moon (F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #4)
  • Nancy Lake and the Case of the First Date: A F.R.E.A.K.S. Short Story (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #3.5)

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“You're cute, but..."
He steps away from me, and I can breathe again. "Cute?" he spits. "For centuries women have wanted me, desired me. Royals requested me by name, and you think I am cute?”
“What’s that?”
“I believe it is called a Vicodin.”
My mouth gapes open, and I darn near tear up. “You brought me cake and drugs? If you included Casablanca, I’d have to marry you.”
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