The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb by R. L. Stine is book 5 in the original Goosebumps series. This book played on one of my main fears being trapped in a dark confined spaces. This novel starts a little slow, but the second half is really good and focused. This book has amped up the danger than previous Goosebumps books, with possible dangers being kidnapped, boiled alive, stung by a deadly scorpion’s sting, and of course being mummified. This book is backed up by the real life scenario of traveling abroad in a different country not understanding all the language and customs, and staying with a relative and your cousin you don’t know that well. This is the first time in the Goosebumps series where the setting takes in a another country other than America, this time in Egypt. This book describes in detail the mummification process, I was a little shocked how far it went especially explaining what they did with the brain and how they got it out. This story is one of those rare stories that was not adapted in to the Goosebumps TV show, they went with the Return of the Mummy instead.
Plot: Gabe goes a family business trip/vacation to Egypt. His Uncle Ben is a Egyptologist that is working on excavating mummified remains from Khala’s pyramid. Gabe’s parents have business Alexandria, but Gabe wanting to see the inside of the pyramid begs his parents to stay with his Uncle Ben and his annoying daughter Sari who is the same age as Gabe. They agree and soon Gabe finds himself climbing down inside of the dark pyramid. Uncle Ben explains that there are 1000 different tunnels some not yet explored, so please stick with him. Uncle Ben gets busy with work as Sari wants to explore, she teases Gabe until he relents and joins her. Sari has a prank in mind that involves her hiding in a mummy’s tomb, The prank seems innocent enough but someone or something does not appreciate the disturbance.
What I Liked: The real knowledge and information about mummification is sprinkled through out. The twist endings to Goosebumps are kind of hit and miss but I really loved this one. The jump scares are used really well. The descriptions of the closed in space work really well, and reminded me of my childhood fears. The pranks are funny and add little scares. I like the character of Uncle Ben, my favorite adult character of the series so far. The second half of this novel is great on flow and suspense.
What I Disliked: Slow start to this novel really killed the momentum. The mummy’s hand should have been sold to Gabe in Egypt at the beginning, really kills the believability, yes I do know this is a Goosebumps book but that is too big a leap on plausibility for the outcome to happen at the end of the book. Sari was pretty annoying and really never grew on me.
Recommendations: This is a pretty solid Goosebumps book, so far it’s now my second favorite behind Stay out of the Basement. If your kids are fascinated by mummies then this is the book for them, it blends little touches of horror with real facts. Small warning on a scene where Gabe tries to gross out Sari he does explain the whole mummification process which might be too gross for smaller kids. I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. The order from best to worst Goosebumps books so far is Stay out of the Basement, The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, Say Cheese and Die, Welcome to Dead House and Monster Blood. I will continue to ready the series in order and give it to my nephews when finished.