Book Thoughts: Goosebumps #23: Return of the Mummy

Goosebumps was a series of classic horror books for kids written by R. L. Stine. They were extremely popular when I was growing up. Even these days, the volume sales of the series as a whole is second only to the more recent Harry Potter series. Before I gave these old books away, I decided to reread the books I had and write my thoughts on them. An interesting thing about Goosebumps was that both my sister and I liked it. My sister and I never got along, so it was rare sight for something to interest both of us. In fact, my sister originally got the first Goosebumps book. I only got into it after borrowing the books from her.

Return of the Mummy was another sequel in the Goosebumps series. I didn’t like this story as much though. It seemed to be a lot more slow-moving. There were many details on various places, people, and Egyptian history, but not a whole lot happened. I think it was pretty bad as a horror book. There was only one scary part in the last five chapters or so. Everything was just normal in the rest of the book. Like the first book, a human was the evil one, not the mummy. Again, the kids had to save the day.

While reading this book I wondered how spiders and snakes ended up inside empty chambers. I saw this before in the Indiana Jones movies, but I don’t think it is actually realistic. In order for snakes and spiders to continue living, they would need a food source. Otherwise, once they became trapped inside a tomb, they would eventually all die off. There would never be a situation where a person opens a tomb to find it filled with snakes. The person might find a bunch of bones but nothing living.

I could see some tombs might have small openings that insects could fit in. Maybe the craftsmanship wasn’t perfect. A door made of stone might develop cracks that insects could get into, but it wouldn’t be crawling with insects inside. The insects could travel back and forth through the cracks. They wouldn’t all be concentrated in the closed off room.

I think this book could have been a little better if there was some more character development. All the main characters were exactly the same as before. They didn’t really change in any way from the previous book. There wasn’t much horror in it. There wasn’t much character development either. That meant there was little payoff for reading the book. I just felt indifferent after reading it.

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