Book Review

Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw | Book Review

Mina and the Undead
Author: Amy McCaw
Pages: 300
Genre: Young Adult | Horror | Paranormal |
Publisher: UCLAN Publishing
Release Date: April 1st 2021

Buy the Book: Author Website | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Waterstones

Hello Everyone! I hope you are all looking forward to a beautiful sunny Easter weekend! I’ve had a bit of a break but I am back and better than ever. I have a very exciting book review for you today and I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you!

Thank you Amy and the publisher for a e-arc of Mina and the Undead in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis

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.

My Review

This is an absolute gem of a book, I couldn’t put it down from the moment I started reading. The writing is fast-paced, easy to read and full of beautiful descriptions of New Orleans. I already fell in love with the place when I visited in 2017 and reading this book has made me want to go back even more than before, and I didn’t think that was possible. If you’ve never been you will definitely be adding it to your list after this. All the characters were so quirky, interesting and just a joy to follow.

The Story

We follow Mina in 1990’s New Orleans, the home of delightful beignets, Mardi Gras and live Jazz music. Her father isn’t around and after her Mum leaving last year, she decides to visit her sister, Libby in this city full of life and myths of abnormal beings. With multiple young women being murdered and Mina being an unlucky discoverer of one of these girls, her world starts to get a lot darker.

I certainly got my fill of horror, blood, dead bodies and vampires within the story and I was still left wanting more! For someone who isn’t a big fan of vampires, but with growing interest in the last few months, it’s so interesting to read and I really got sucked into(see what I did there) all the vampire mythology and tales from different parts of the world. As a massive fan of film and tv shows as well, I loved all the horror film references. The nostalgia and pop culture references really engage you as a reader as well, making it incredibly hard to put down.

Some parts were quite intense and I did get emotional a couple of times. I found myself just sitting back and enjoying the story and the atmosphere of New Orleans one minute and then the next I was on the edge of my seat biting my nails! I was so shocked at the twists which really surprised me because I expected it to be a bit predictable. I’m so glad I enjoyed it as much as I did!

The Characters

Mina is everything you want in a main character. She is smart, fun, curious and has such a strong passion for all things paranormal. I really enjoyed exploring New Orleans with her and see her fall in love with the city. She is an extremely likeable and relatable character, you will love her from the start! f you’re in the mood for a bit of romance, like I always am, you will love the spark between Mina and Jared. Sometimes it felt a bit rushed but in the end, it didn’t end up bothering me because I enjoyed their characters and the story so much.

Libby, her girlfriend Della and her friends Jared and Lucas kept the story interesting and very entertaining. I loved them all as soon as I met them and just couldn’t get enough! They are the type of characters that you could see yourself with. I wish I could walk down Bourbon Street with them all gossiping and join in with all the mayhem going on around them!

Overall Thoughts

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is an amazing and unique young adult horror that you won’t be able to put down! There are plenty are surprising twists and you’ll be kept guessing who the killer is until the very end. I really loved Amy’s writing and can’t wait to read more of her work in the future. Please let there be a sequel! If you’re a fan of vampires, romance, drama and the 90s then you have to read this book!

Rating: 4.5/5

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
About the Author

Amy McCaw is a YA writer and blogger. She’s the author of Mina and the Undead, a YA murder mystery set in 1995 New Orleans.

Her main interests are books, movies and the macabre, and her debut novel has elements of all of these. If Amy’s not at a book event or reading, she can usually be found scribbling away in her writing room, surrounded by movie memorabilia and an out-of-control signed books collection. Unsurprisingly, she’s a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and has gone to conventions to meet James Marsters more times than she cares to admit.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

Buy the Book: Author Website | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Waterstones

Manchester blogger with a passion for reading, writing and travelling. I always have a book or a cup of tea in my hand.


27 April 2021 at 6:17 pm

Wonderful review, Ellie Mai!

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