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Item - The Mummy's Tomb


(book club edition)

Series: Choose Your Own Adventure for Younger Readers — no. 24
Translated Into: Das Grab der Mumie (German)
La tomba de la mòmia (Catalan)
Le tombeau de la momie (French)
La tumba de la momia (Spanish)
Author: Spinner, Stephanie
Illustrator: Enik, Ted
Date: February, 1985
ISBNs: 0553152947 / 9780553152944
0553154397 / 9780553154399
Length: 54 pages
Number of Endings: 10
User Summary: Your aunt Dottie takes you to Egypt to search for a magical scarab necklace in a mummy's tomb.
Demian's Thoughts: Like a lot of the books in this series, this feels extremely abridged due to the perceived limitations of its target audience. Overall, though, it's about average.

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KenJenningsJeopardy74's Thoughts: Numerous gamebooks have been written about Ancient Egyptian mythology, and the Bantam Skylark Choose Your Own Adventure series wouldn't be complete without its take on the subject. You and your aunt Dottie, an archaeologist, are on your way to Cairo in search of a crystal scarab necklace supposedly buried in a Pharaoh's tomb. You're excited about hunting for treasure, but a man named Al-Fazi also wants the necklace, and you spot one of his spies on your airplane en route to Egypt. At the airport it becomes obvious he is following you, but can you escape him?

Whether you migrate to the search site immediately or stop at your hotel first, you'll be in the desert soon. If you and Aunt Dottie stay overnight beside the pyramid she wants to explore, you'll be too excited to sleep, and wander into the pyramid without her. There are awesome enchantments inside: flame that blocks corridors yet doesn't burn, and a potent curse protecting the Pharaoh's tomb. Do you dare remove the ancient king's necklace, or should you leave it and report back to Aunt Dottie? Your future depends on the respect you show the dead Pharaoh; violating the sanctity of his resting place has consequences.

Other pathways into the pyramid offer different experiences. You could go down a long, winding staircase to the Kingdom of the Dead, where a humanoid with a jackal head like Anubis's sits on a throne surrounded by walking skeletons. The Pharaoh's tomb is never far, but you could face mortal danger on the way. A room full of crocodiles awaits if you tumble into it, but you can avoid their snapping jaws and still get to the treasure. One narrative branch puts you in proximity to Al-Fazi's spy from the airplane, who charges into the pyramid to grab the necklace before you. If he falls into a trap, will you help him even though he might harm you? Locating the Pharaoh's necklace and surviving to tell about it requires savvy choices and respect for the ancient culture you're exploring. Maintain both, and you'll have a decent shot at a happy ending.

I know author Stephanie Spinner best for her 1988 book Aliens for Breakfast, which was made into a 1994 television movie starring Ben Savage and Sinbad the comedian. The fact that she contributed a Choose Your Own Adventure book is somewhat noteworthy. Not everything about The Mummy's Tomb makes sense, but traveling the dim passageways of an Egyptian pyramid is exciting, and ultimate success is a challenge. I'll be back for a reread when the mood strikes. Choose Your Own Adventure is always good for a bit of fun.

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