Scholastic, $3.99, ISBN 0-590-84767-8
Your parents’ idea of a great, educational holiday is to drag you and your annoying siblings to the Pyramid Building in San Francisco, where you are going to see the grand display of Egyptian artifacts. You really want to see the mummified King Buthramaman, the so-called last of the great Egyptian kings. Things get weird when you find a diary on the ground and start reading. Yikes, it’s about a mummy announcing that it’s still alive and it’s going to escape… this coming evening!
Now, because you are in Goosebumps land, there is no question about you believing this to be real. So what will it be? Will you break into the Pyramid Building this evening to check out things, as kids breaking into places is clearly pretty easy to do? Do this and you will get what you deserve: the mummy turns you into a mummy like itself, ho ho. Or, will you sneak off somewhere else to read the rest of the diary? You will take the nearby elevator which will lead you to the basement. Who knows what you will find down there…
Diary of a Mad Mummy, like all gamebooks to date that contain mummies and other Egyptian stuff, plays out like a collection of tropes thrown together nilly-willy. There are crocodiles here, tar pits there; shifty Egyptians and untrustworthy Americans too. The most interesting route is likely the one where you become a mummy and has to find a way back to being your old human self again, but even then, this kind of thing had been done better and more creatively in other gamebooks in this series. Everything else here will feel like either random ass-pulls or lazy use of clichés.
As a result, while there’s nothing particularly awful about this one, there’s nothing memorable either. It exists in the Give Yourself Goosebumps series that help to pad out the numbers, and that’s all it is good for.