Thursday, April 1, 2021

Review - Mina and the Undead by Amy McCaw



Title: Mina and the Undead

Author: Amy McCaw

Pages: 300

Publisher: UCLAN Publishing

Release Date:


Blurb from Goodreads: 

 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.


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My Review:

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to UCLAN Publishing and NetGalley*

British teenager Mina is visiting her sister, Libby, in New Orleans for the summer, just in time for the 1995 Fang Fest.

A big horror fan, Mina can't wait to soak up the atmosphere and explore the darker side of New Orleans. She can't believe her luck when she gets a job at the horror movie mansion tour with Libby and her handsome housemate, Jared.

But things take a dark turn when Mina finds the body of a young woman in the mansion. Suspicion is thrown on Libby and things become even worse when more bodies turn up, the killings identical to famous New Orleans past murders.

Who is behind the killings?

Is Mina next?

Mina and the Undead was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I was very much looking forward to reading it. However, I ended up with very mixed feelings about it.

Mina was a likeable and relatable protagonist. She'd had a tough time and had a strained relationship with her sister, which was interesting to read about. However, after reading the book I don't feel that I actually know that much about Mina. Especially about her life back in England - I don't remember reading anything about her friends or whether she even liked school.

None of the characters apart from Della particularly stood out for me - she's the only character that I would like to find out more about.

I wasn't a huge fan of the romance, but I could feel the spark between the two characters. Personally, I prefer a slow burn and the romance felt a bit rushed to me.

The setting of mid-90s New Orleans was interesting, but I would have liked a bit more description to really flesh it out.

The plot was enjoyable to begin with, but after a while I found myself losing interest and I struggled to stay interested. There were some things that happened that I didn't see coming, but there were also some that I did. I wasn't overly invested in what was going on, so anything that was meant to shock me didn't.

My main issue with this book was the writing style - there were many times when I found a character's dialogue or actions odd. There were also several occasions when I felt a scene could have done with more description to help the reader visualise it, and some parts felt a little rushed. 

I think this was one of those occasions where the novel wasn't for me and I just couldn't get on with the writing style. Unfortunately, I ended up not enjoying this as much as I thought I would, but I can definitely see other people liking it more.

Overall, this was a mixed read for me.




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