Saturday, October 1, 2011

Early Review - Mind Over Monsters by (F.R.E.A.K.S Squad Investigation, Book 1) by Jennifer Harlow (3.5/5 stars)

Reading level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 288 pages
Release Date: October 8, 2011
ISBN: 978-0738726670
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the F.R.E.A.K.S Squad Investigation series
Source: Signed ARC from Book Expo America
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

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 Squad). She's been trained and now she is moving in with her fellow F.R.E.A.K.s just in time to help them fight off some zombies and an evil necromancer.

This is one of those books that is a fun light read but not super original. If you are a fan of the lighter side of the paranormal genre; you should find this book entertaining. By lighter side I mean authors like Molly Harper, Katie MacAlister, Nicole Peeler and Jolie Wilkins.

Beatrice is one of those girls who is a good girl (schoolteacher) trying to fit in with a paranormal crowd. Beatrice doesn't necessarily like fighting, but she tries to be as tough as she can to prove herself to her fellow FREAK squad members. She's your every day girl trying to learn how to kick some serious butt.

Like many of these types of books, this book has a love triangle featuring a vampire (Oliver) and a werewolf (Will). There are some steamy scenes between Beatrice and both of these male leads; although things never get past kissing. Again this was fun, the male leads are well done, but nothing we haven't seen before.

It was interesting how the author paired paranormal abilities like teleportation and telekinesis, with paranormal species like werewolves and vampires. It gave the book kind of a paranormals with super-heroes twist to it.

One place where this book does differ from the above-mentioned authors is in the goriness. The goriness of dismembered human bodies is described in great detail; so just a "beware" for those with weak stomachs.

The writing is well done and the book easy to read. The book presents the mystery behind these zombies and wraps that up nicely.

Overall this is a good read. It is well-written, had likable characters, and was fun to read. It was a nice diversion, but there wasn't anything here that was super creative or all that different from a number of other authors out there that do this kind of light, fluffy, fun girl-next-door meets paranormal baddies. So if you are really into light paranormal you might want to give this book a read. I personally enjoy books like Nicole Peeler's Jane True series more because the races you meet are more creative and the world building is more extensive. I also think Molly Harper's Jane Jameson series is funnier. But this series does have a sort of fun paranormal girl next door meets gory violent zombies vibe to it that is fun and entertaining.

This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
- Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge
- 100+ Reading Challenge
- Zombies! Reading Challenge

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