Mina and the Undead

Mina and the Undead


Summer ’95, New Orleans. Mina’s having a summer to die for.

17-year-old Mina arrives in New Orleans to visit her estranged sister, Libby. Mina loves nothing more than a creepy horror movie and can't wait to explore the city’s darkest secrets – vampire tours, seedy bars, spooky cemeteries, disturbing local myths…

Her trip takes an interesting turn when Mina lands a part-time job at a house of horrors, the Mansion of the Macabre. Especially when she meets Jared, Libby’s flatmate and co-worker (and an excellent Lestat impersonator).

But the perfect summer bliss is broken when, while exploring the mansion, Mina discovers the body of a girl with puncture marks on her neck and a lock of hair suspiciously resembling Libby’s … who, or what has made those marks? Is Mina’s fanatical obsession with Vampires playing tricks on her mind? Or could Vampires actually be stalking the streets of New Orleans, hunting for fresh prey?

Mina and the Undead is a novel for fans of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Stranger Things.

Our Review

Mina and the Undead was such a nostalgic read for me. It is set in 1995 at New Orleans Fang Fest and was jam-packed with nineties horror references and mentions of places I visited on a visit to New Orleans a few years ago.  Reading Mina and the Undead gave me the same feelings as I used to get when reading my Point Horror books - a sense of anticipation but I suspected it was going to turn out well in the end. 

"We passed a voodoo shop with shrunken heads in the window, bars illuminated with gaudy neon signs and elegant buildings with balconies and thin columns." 

17 year old Mina is in New Orleans visiting her estranged sister Libby. A year ago their mother walked out and left without a trace, shortly after Libby moved to New Orleans for university without discussing it first with Mina. Whilst she is there Libby tries to get Mina a job working with her at the Mansion of the Macabre.

"It nestled between two homes like a rotten tooth, char-black with windows sliced across by silver bars. At the top was a circular, cloudy window that reminded me of a dead eye. I felt that same delicious anticipation as reading horror in bed with my torch, darkness intruding at the edge of the light."

I loved that the protagonist was called Mina, a huge nod to vampire classic Dracula, and the Mansion of the Macabre is one huge reference to all things horror. A horror tour set us with references to all our favourite horror films including It and Interview with a Vampire.

"A clown sprang up behind us with an exuberant chuckle. We burst outwards like shrapnel, bolting for the door. Panting, I made it and found Della had beaten me there. 

The clown leapt in front of our exit, revealing a mouth crammed with spiky teeth as fine as blades. His eyes were pure white, flat and vacant. Sludgy pain the color of old bones disguised his skin.

A cloud of balloons drifted over us and he plucked one of the strings, giving a jaunty wave with his knife. He offerred us his balloon, which was the same deep crimson as the blood in the sink."

Mina feels a draw to all things supernatural and in a city like New Orleans it is easy for her to leap to conclusions but her mum's disappearance has made her uncomfortable with this side of her personality, not least because in the time leading up to her disappearance Mina's mum was obsessed about all things vampire.

At the Mansion of the Macabre Mina meets Libby's girlfriend, Della, and her hot housemate, Jared.

During her trial at The Mansion of the Macabre Mina discovers a dead body, the first of many, all killed in gruesome ways connected to New Orleans myths and legends. 

Mina and the Undead is perfect for the young adult age range...but it is also perfect for 38 year old readers as well. 

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 5/5

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