Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis by Ethan Russell Erway

(8.7/10) Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis proved to be a lively and very enjoyable story.

Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis is the debut novel of Ethan Russell Erway. It follows the adventures of three children from America to Scotland to Egypt. It is a fictional children's book for ages 8-10 and upwards (even adults will enjoy it, I know I did!).

Michael Belmont has always dreamed of leading a more adventurous life, but when it actually happens, he ends up getting more than he ever bargained for. Michael is sent to stay with his best friend Liam in Scotland while their parents conduct research at an ancient Egyptian necropolis. All is well until the boys get news that their parents have disappeared. Now Michael, his sister Abbey, and Liam suddenly find themselves in a race to obtain an ancient magical artifact that could be the only key to rescuing their parents - before it’s too late…

When I was first introduced to Michael, Abigail and Liam they really stuck in my mind as Erway has created them to be just as children should be, particularly in the way they act towards each other and to their parents. I especially enjoyed Abigail's character as her reactions were fun to read and I also loved Liam's jokes.

When I started reading the book I immediately thought that I had spotted the character who was going to be the bad guy. This was mainly due to his name and his behaviour towards the children but, in the end, I was completely wrong and it was nice to see that Erway cleverly managed to disguise this vital plot point.

The storyline is kept pretty straightforward and is easily accessible for the young reader. The adventures that occur throughout the book follow each other nicely and there are no illogical transitions between chapters which might otherwise confuse. Nothing is over the top and too unbelievable and everything is done just right and it all comes together to make for an appealing read that puts a smile on your face while reading.

In the Tomb of Anubis two “main” locations are visited. Firstly there is The McGinty castle in Scotland, owned by Liam's father, and the excavation site of the Tomb of Anubis in Egypt. A third less visited location is the ranch of Michael and Abigail's uncle Link. The use the castle in Scotland was a wise move by Erway as it offered much versatility in the storyline. Some may find it cliché, using a castle with dungeons and secrets as a basis, but it connected nicely to the story and with what Erway tried to achieve with the Tomb of Anubis. The castle served both as a safe haven and connection point between the events in the the Tomb of Anubis.

Michael Belmont and the Tomb of Anubis proved to be a lively and very enjoyable story I would definitely recommend it for children aged 8 and upwards. I hope that Erway can keep this up in his upcoming novels and I will certainly add his second book to my to-read list.

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