Review: Mina and the Undead (#1) by Amy McCaw

Goodreads |

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’ve wanted to read this book for such a long time, and recently finally picked it up! This book is a must read for any YA gothic/horror fans, and a perfect summer read. I love the setting of New Orleans, which also crops up in V.E. Schwab’s series City of Ghosts in the last book, Bridge of Souls. My love for that book and series made me want to pick Mina and the Undead even more, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Mina is from Whitby, which was so fun to hear discussed as I’ve visited Whitby a number of times and I could picture it perfectly. New Orleans also makes for such an atmospheric setting, with the horror house being a great summer location for the book. There’s a number of undertones to this book, from romance to mystery, and I really enjoyed finding out what was happening with the killings.

This book is steeped in 80s/90s culture and nostalgia, but younger readers won’t be lost, either. I loved the references to various horror films (The Lost Boys especially!) and felt the same aura as Rachel Caine’s Morganville Vampires series, a series I have fond memories of.

I really enjoyed Mina as a character and the tension between her and her sister Libby was well-written. I also enjoyed the friendships and relationships explored. I’m really looking forward to seeing where the series goes with the next instalment, Mina and the Slayers, only a couple of weeks away now!

I would also like to say I adore the design of this book cover/design in general – it’s so clever.

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: Mina and the Undead (#1) by Amy McCaw

  1. Pingback: August Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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