Gabe’s family is on vacation in Egypt, seeing the pyramids, when his parents are unexpectedly called away on business. Rather than go with them to Alexandria, Gabe elects to stay with his uncle Ben, and Ben’s daughter, Sari. Ben is an archaeologist studying the pyramids, so Gabe gets to go inside the pyramids. Maybe he’ll discover a mummy, or some hidden treasure. Or maybe… hidden danger!
The fifth book in R. L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb follows Gabe and Sari as they have an adventure in a pyramid. Sari is always trying to scare Gabe, and he’s always falling for it, but might there be something worth being scared of?
This book is a little unusual in that there is almost nothing supernatural in the whole book. The danger is of getting lost in the pyramid and of being caught by Ahmed, who’s determined to ensure that the curse of the priestess Khala, his ancestor, is carried out–by mummifying any intruders.
I liked the characterization a little better than usual in this book. I think that Stine improved as he wrote more books in the series–it’s my impression, thus far, that the characters feel more real, and the writing improves generally, as the series progresses.
Some of the foreshadowing is a bit heavy-handed, though I suspect that this is done in order to accommodate younger readers. It’s very obvious, for example, that Gabe is going to be separated from his uncle and cousin by stopping to tie his shoe (actually, it happens twice), and Ahmed is introduced as a ‘weird guy’ who stares silently at the children.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb has much more adventure than the previous books in the series–Gabe and Sari explore the pyramid together (a little) and escape from Ahmed’s kidnapping attempt, and Gabe falls through the floor into a hidden room full of scorpions and mummies.
The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb provides a good mix of suspense and adventure, with just a touch of the supernatural. It’s a fun, quick read, and is available on the Kindle, as Classic Goosebumps #6, for horror fans that prefer bytes to pages.