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Item - Secret of the Pyramids

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Series: Choose Your Own Adventure (1979-1998) — no. 19
Contained In: Choose Your Own Adventure Box Set 4 (16-20) (Collection)
Translated Into: Das Geheimnis der Pyramiden (German)
Jīnzìtǎ Sōumì [金字塔搜秘] (Chinese)
Nazo no piramiddo pawaa [謎のピラミッドパワー] (Japanese)
Piramideetako sekretua (Basque)
Piramitteki sır (Turkish)
Pyramidernas hemlighet (Swedish)
Pyramidernes hemmelighed (Danish)
El secret de les piràmides (Catalan)
El secreto de las pirámides (Spanish)
El secreto de las pirámides (Spanish)
O segredo das piramides (Portuguese)
Il segreto delle piramidi (Italian)
Tajna piramida (Serbo-Croatian)
Taynata na piramidite [Тайната на пирамидите] (Bulgarian)
Author: Brightfield, Richard
Illustrator: Kramer, Anthony
Date: April, 1983
ISBNs: 0553232959 / 9780553232950
0553257617 / 9780553257618
Length: 116 pages
Number of Endings: 22
User Summary: You travel to Egypt with your uncle Bruce, a professor who believes that the largest pyramid at Giza can be used as an energy source.
Demian's Thoughts:

This is a rather unexceptional book. There's nothing major wrong with it, but it's not terribly interesting.

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Good's Thoughts:

Found it again. I think I saw it at a Goodwill once. The sphinx and ghostly face I remember well. 3/10.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts:

Richard Brightfield went on to write many Choose Your Own Adventure books, but Secret of the Pyramids was his first contribution to the series, and his lack of experience at that point is somewhat evident. You are at home after school one afternoon when your Uncle Bruce, a scientist, telephones. He's headed to Egypt to investigate an energy phenomenon reportedly centered around the Pyramids. Preliminary research suggests the Pyramids may actually be an ancient conduit to harness cosmic rays for use, a revelation that would forever alter energy consumption on earth. Uncle Bruce doesn't have to ask twice for you to join him on his adventure. Within days the two of you are off to the Middle East, but you grow uneasy even before your plane lands in Cairo. Are you paranoid, or are other passengers eavesdropping on Uncle Bruce's conversations with you? Your fears seem to be validated when a man approaches you at the airport after you go on ahead of Uncle Bruce. The stranger hands you a note with "Beware the Sphinx" scribbled on it, then hurries away. Should you tail the guy, or meet up with Uncle Bruce at your hotel and show him the ominous message?

Unlike many Choose Your Own Adventure books, there isn't really one central decision that branches into two distinct narratives. You can get caught up in Cairo's nightlife, playing an espionage game with criminals who have far more expertise than you. They have no reason to harm you yet, but will that change? The city is dangerous if you run afoul of terrorists, who will stop at nothing to sabotage Uncle Bruce's scientific mission and try to corral the limitless power of the Pyramids for their own dubious purposes. If you take the "safe" route and wait for your uncle at the hotel, danger still stalks you. Anyone associated with Uncle Bruce has a target on their back, and you could be killed if things get contentious enough.

Most story paths have little or nothing to do with the Pyramids, but a few see you treading the darkened corridors of these ancient tombs that hold secrets more exotic than anything you can imagine. Extraterrestrials may have had a hand in building the Pyramids, and even now be at work maintaining balance in the cosmos in areas beyond human comprehension. More than one secret awaits you in the desert, but the exciting ones hint at the real purpose behind these ancient buildings. You may even come face to face with the being who created the Pyramids all those years ago.

The Curse of Batterslea Hall and The Deadly Shadow are better Choose Your Own Adventure books by Richard Brightfield, but Secret of the Pyramids has intriguing moments. My favorite is a weird aside in which you find sanctuary with a magician named Al-Din while on the run from your enemies. "All is illusion," he assures you, and proceeds to demonstrate what he means. Al-Din sends you back to the beginning of this book in a loop you can ride as many times as you desire. It's strange, but it's the most memorable part of Secret of the Pyramids. Compared to other Choose Your Own Adventure titles, this one rates low for its lack of a compelling central story, but it's fine for a quick diversion. It's not Who Killed Harlowe Thrombey?, but it can be fun.

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Mr ?'s Thoughts:

This book is a big disappointment. When I looked at the cover, I expected a lot from it, but unfortunately it was very dull. It is not the worst book in the series, but it does contain a lot of flaws. This book is a good example of the phrase "Don't judge a book by its cover."

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