Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Series 2000 #16 the Mummy Walks



Series 2000 16 the Mummy Walks

Front Tagline:
One small step for mummy...

Brief Synopsis:
The last thing I want to read about is mummies, so I can't pretend I went into this week's book with an open mind. And thought it contains almost the same amount of mummies as any other Goosebumps book, it bears so little resemblance to this series that it's a little bewildering. The action doesn't take place in Egypt, but the made-up Middle-Eastern berg of Jezekiah. Protagonist Michael is put on a plane from New York to Florida for the purpose of visiting his Aunt in Orlando. But once he gets on the plane, he can't help but notice he's the only one in the cabin. Without even Bronson Pinchot tearing paper to keep him company, Michael wanders aimlessly around the plane. Finally, mid-flight, a middle-eastern man exits the cockpit and brings him a delicious dinner. So either this is an ironic hijacking or something else is going on.

After being called "Excellency" by everyone he encounters once exiting the plane, Michael figures out: "Hey, they must mean me." As cheerful foreigners celebrate his venture to the palace, it's explained to him that he's not really Michael Clarke from New York, but rather the son of two dead Jezekiah rulers. After the murder of his parents, he was sent overseas for his protection, where he lived for all these years unaware of his royalty. After seeing his shock, General Rameer, the military expert in charge of Michael's readjustment, asks whether his parents told him all this. Like this was something he'd forget being told. His "parents" did however hand him a sheet of paper that simply said "We're not your real parents" as he was boarding the plane, which is probably not the best way to break news that requires followup questions.

General Rameer has more news: His parents hid a valuable mummy, which in turn holds a valuable jewel, just before they died. The entire economy of Jezekiah depends on borrowing against the value of the mummy jewel. Without the jewel, thousands will starve and the nation will collapse. Write to your congressmen and oppose the bailout in favor of mystical mummy jewels. How is Michael supposed to know where the mummy is hidden if he was just a baby when all this happened? Well of course his parents implanted a microchip in his brain with the info. Because a poor desert nation dependent on borrowing against an ancient relic will also have the technology and money at hand for brain surgery and advanced cerebral microchips.

Of course Michael can't remember anything, but he caves to their pressure-- literally. He points to a random cave. General Raheem announces that they'll all leave at dawn to investigate the cave, and that Michael is coming with. Michael tries to explain that he's not a morning person, but this holds little weight with crazy military dictators who are using preteen members of royalty to further their own aspirations. The nefarious intent of the General is all spelled out by the General's adopted American daughter, Megan, who sneaks into Michael's room and explains that they'll kill him whether the mummy is or isn't in the cave. Michael doesn't question this information because adopted daughters of nefarious dictators are notoriously reliable.

The next morning, Megan tags along as they make their way through the desert towards the caves. Then some rebels attack and there's a gunfight and boy, we're a long way from werewolves. All tuckered out from being shot at, the Jezekiah military entourage rests until the next morning. When they finally enter the cave, to Michael's great shock, they do find a mummy. This mummy comes to life and chases after the explorers. It's then revealed that the mummy is really Megan, who knew Michael was lying and thus disguised herself as a mummy to scare away the men with guns. Then some other men with guns kidnap her and Michael.

The rebels tell Michael that they know he knows where the mummy is. He tries telling this new group of middle-easterners with guns that he doesn't know anything, but somehow they don't believe him. Frustrated, the rebel leader tells his lackey to shoot Michael. After some persuading, the rebel leader finally softens and agrees to throw the boy into a snake pit. And before Olivia de Havilland can chime in with a comment, not a metaphorical one, but a large hole filled with pythons.

But before that can happen, Megan saves the day once again by stopping the execution and convincing the rebel leader that letting them go back to America will actually benefit the rebel cause. The rebel leader reveals why he's on the losing side by agreeing and the two kids travel back. Because a rebel leader fighting for his people has enough money to fly two kids to America?

Michael's "parents" greet him and Megan at the airport and explain that the reason he couldn't remember anything about the mummy was because they had the microchip removed at an early age. His parents welcome Megan into the family.

But the Twist is:
Remember that mummy and its jewel? Michael's guardians had the mummy shipped over secretly years ago and reveal its hiding place in the basement. The next morning, the mummy and its jewel are gone. Megan leaves a note apologizing for being a double-agent for her adopted father. And the mummy's not there because a member of non-royalty taking the jewel causes the mummy to come to life. But whereas that should have been the first chapter of the advertised book, that's the end of this one. Take that, readers!

the Platonic Boy-Girl Relationship:
Michael and the daughter of the guy who wants to kill him, Megan, who disappears into a cave halfway through the book.

Questionable "Parenting":
Close your eyes and point to anything they do in this book.

Memorable Cliffhanger Chapter Ending:
Ch. 26/27:
Michael's "mom" asks who is on the phone when he calls, and then he tells her, and then she knows who is on the phone. Edge. Of. The. Seat.

Great Prose Alert:
Maybe I am that baby, I argued with myself.

Conclusions:
Even RL Stine is clearly bored with the series at this point.

48 comments:

Groggy Dundee said...

So basically this is a political thriller with a not-very-convincing sci-fi twist? Hmm. How odd.

troy steele said...

I didn't even know what to do with this, I just got in and got out as soon as possible. It's like reading a Tom Clancy novel if Tom Clancy gleaned all his knowledge of the Middle East from Ishtar. Thank God we appear to be back in normal territory next week.

Groggy Dundee said...

I'm sure the kids reading this were just thrilled about all of the political intrigue going on. Finger on the pulse as always, that Stine. Next a novel where our protagonist battles Osama Bin Laden and his werewolf henchmen, no doubt.

Happy Veteran's Day, btw. And thanks for the semi-early entry.

Anonymous said...

Wow, a mummy story that could have been so intriguing and yet ended up so...boring. I swear, had it not been for your usual humor, troy, I could not have gone on.

Ryan Ferneau said...

The mummy walks... The mummy stalks...

The mummy walks at midnight!

Great escaper said...

How odd! Are you sure a ghostwriter didnt write this? It just seems so bizarre and so out of sync with the rest of the series.

Ryan said...

Oh i get it. The book is called 'The Mummy Walks' because it features exactly no Mummies walking.

Russo swerve.

Anonymous said...

What the Hell?

Anonymous said...

never has a "What" been so warranted

Josh said...

I get the feeling Stine was secretly trying to pitch a new series of childrens political thrillers, each with a surprising twist at the end.

Ben said...

The Langoliers?! That's gotta be my favourite obscure reference to date Troy.

That movie was truly awful.

Ryan S said...

You'd think the parents would protect the mummy a bit better when a girl they've never bet before moves in.

Anonymous said...

Adopted American daughter.

lolwut

Anonymous said...

Wow.

That's all I can react with. Just wow.

Amy Lynn said...

What the heck was that? Nice job snarking this one, Troy. It certainly deserved it. Bizarre-sounding book.

paige said...

if the parents had the mummy shipped back home and the chip removed, why did they send the boy overseas at all?

troy steele said...

Exactly.

Yama said...

Is it just me or does this book remind anyone else of A Night In Terror Tower? With more suck, of course?

Chad Walters said...

I was totally thinking the same thing, Yama.

Groggy Dundee said...

Just how do you figure?

Anonymous said...

Is it really another werewolf one next already? I swear the original series didn't have all that many werewolves. Did it?

(Entry needs linking in the sidebar bee-tee-dubya.)

morbidiculous said...

Grogadile dundee: The whole "orphan sent into mortal danger in the name of protecting them" theme rings a bell.

Ryan Ferneau said...

The Langoliers?! That's gotta be my favourite obscure reference to date Troy.

Where did he reference it? You people need to explain these things better.

Anonymous said...

The Langoliers! Thanks, ben, I couldn't remember where I knew that reference from. It was driving me nuts.

Anonymous said...

Ryan, it's the line about the mostly-empty plane and Bronson Pinchot tearing paper.

Groggy Dundee said...

>The whole "orphan sent into mortal danger in the name of protecting them" theme rings a bell.

I can see that, I guess.

More warwilfs all around, I guess.

Patrick said...

Now I remember why this was the last Goosebumps book I ever bought.

Actually, no, I didn't buy it. I borrowed it from the library and then just never gave it back.
So anyone who's gone to the Pasco County Public Library System in hopes of finding this book...

...well, sorry.

Same goes for Scream School and The Cuckoo Clock of Doom.

Groggy Dundee said...

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm thrilled about the prospect of more werewolves tonight.

Anon e Mouse Jr. said...

After aliens and mummies, yeah, so am I. (I bought HorrorLand 6 and 7 tonight. And read them. Book 6 was okay, but 7 was essentially The Girl Who Cried Monster meets Calling All Creeps.)

Until next time...

Anon e Mouse Jr.

Anonymous said...

I still have a hardcover (!!!) copy of Werewolf of Fever Swamp I rented from the library. In the 90's.

troy steele said...

This week's book is exactly as good as its title suggests

Groggy Dundee said...

The new Horrorland books are out now!? I'll have to keep an eye out.

Zak said...

The Werewolf in the Living Room was by far the best werewolf Goosebumps book IMO.

Hah, but I can't tell if Troy means good or bad...

troy steele said...

TWITLRIBFTWWGBIMO

Groggy Dundee said...

I don't think any of the werewolf titles up to this point have been particularly bad, though. But then, what do I know?

Zak said...

Haha I actually understood that.

In that case I look forward to it. =D

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, troy, that book can't be that bad for it to be the worst...right? Oh hell...at least it will be entertaining.

Ducky said...

So, I was in GameStop the other day and what do I see on the DS shelf other than this:

http://www.gamefaqs.com/portable/ds/home/951535.html

I laughed pretty hard when I saw it. Apparently it's just a bunch of bad minigames that are Goosebumps themed.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually thinking of getting the new HorrorLand game for the DS just to see how terrible it is. Maybe when the price goes down... if I'm desperate.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you made a reference to the Langoliers movie, haha.

Anonymous said...

First time commenting on this blog, but when I saw your Langoliers reference, I just had to tell you how much I love you.

Anonymous said...

Hey your blog sucks this books are incredible bet you cant write a letter of something.

Anonymous said...

Hey your blog sucks this books are incredible bet you cant write a letter of something.

Anonymous said...

This was the first ever Goosebumps 2000 book I have ever owned. I am lucky, too. I have now realized this is the only good book in the series.
Yet the cover was misleading...

LeviSamJuno said...

I loved the Snake Pit reference!

Anonymous said...

wait....
there are HARDCOVER Goosebumps books??

Groggy Dundee said...

Yeah libraries have (had?) a lot of "turtle-backed" hardcovers to prevent wear and tear. My high school had a bunch like that.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to second (or third or fourth, by this time) the love for the Langoliers reference.