Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw – REVIEW

New Orleans Fang Fest, 1995.
Mina’s having a summer to die for.

17-year-old Mina, from England, arrives in New Orleans to visit her estranged sister, Libby. After growing up in Whitby, the town that inspired Dracula, Mina loves nothing more than a creepy horror movie. She can’t wait to explore the city’s darkest secrets – vampire tours, seedy bars, spooky cemeteries, disturbing local myths…

And it gets even better when Mina lands a part-time job at a horror movie mansion and meets Jared, Libby’s gorgeous housemate, co-worker and fellow horror enthusiast.

But the perfect summer bliss is broken when, while exploring the mansion, Mina stumbles upon the body of a girl with puncture marks on her neck, clutching a lock of hair that suspiciously resembles Libby’s… Someone is replicating New Orleans’ most brutal supernatural killings. Mina must discover the truth and prove her sister’s innocence before she becomes the victim of another myth.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from UCLAN.
Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Combine vampires, New Orleans, and nineties culture and you get a fantastically fun YA mystery horror. I’m so glad vampires are making a comeback as I love vampiric myths and seeing how authors put their own twist on them. Amy does such a great job combining classic tropes with fresh ideas and produces a gripping thriller that engages the reader from the very first page. The descriptive language evoked a cinematic feel, making it easy to visualise the action.

“Billy White told me vampires weren’t real so I bit him. The pain was real enough.”

New Orleans is definitely another character in this story and it’s obvious that the author knows the city well and shares this knowledge through the places she describes and the tale she weaves. It’s on my bucket list to visit New Orleans one day and experience a slice of its rich history and culture. As a fan of crime thrillers, I appreciated the idea of replicating famous murders from New Orlean’s history and found all of it absolutely fascinating and can’t wait to research them further.

“Embrace the weird.”

Seventeen-year-old Mina was a great main character and I especially enjoyed her complicated relationship with her older sister. There’s a frustration underscored by love that’s exclusive to sibling dynamics and it was authentically portrayed. I found it hilarious how Mina was thirsty for Jared on almost every page and really liked their developing romance. I hope we eventually get a sequel as I think there’s definitely room for the story to grow after the events of this book.

If you’re a fan of vampire tales, sink your teeth into Mina and the Undead and enjoy a thrilling tale of murder, obsession, and romance.

(Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon UK)

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