________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 40. . . .June 18, 2010


Tomb of Doom. (Zac Power).

H. I. Larry. Illustrated by Ash Oswald & Andy Hook.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2006/2010.
90 pp., pbk., $5.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-0253-7.

Subject Headings:
Pyramids-Juvenile fiction.
Treasure troves-Juvenile fiction
Spy stories-Juvenil

Grades 2-4 / Ages 7-9.

Review by Lindsay Schluter.

***1/2 /4


Twelve-year-old Zac Power is a secret agent for GIB, the Government Investigation Bureau. In fact, everyone in the Power family is a spy, and it is their responsibility to protect secret government information and to defend the safety of others.

    In the Tomb of Doom, readers encounter Zac in the middle of a sweltering desert. He’s getting a tour of the Amber Sands and the famous Vanishing Pyramid – a pyramid that is professed to contain the magnificent Golden Sun Diamond. It is the only pyramid never to be looted by tomb raiders, and according to legend, if the Vanishing Pyramid is ever broken into, terrible earthquakes will shake the Amber Sands.

     While taking it all in and enjoying the sunshine, Zac realizes that the camel on which he’s riding is beginning to gallop faster and faster away from the group. He tries to turn back, but soon enough, Zac realizes that he’s on a robotic CAMELTRONIC 9000 that must be taking him to his next mission.

     After a long trek through the desert, Zac’s camel groans and screeches to a halt beneath a lone palm tree. Disappointed, Zac kicks the tree, only to realize that it is GIB Agent Peterson in disguise! Zack receives a small metal disk and inserts it into his Spy Pad. Alright! His next mission!


GIB Agent Track Star has gone missing while guarding the Vanishing Pyramid. Tremors have rocked the Amber Sands region, which means that the pyramid has been entered. Raiders may have broken into the tomb, and GIB now fears Agent Track Star is trapped inside.


- Locate the Vanishing Pyramid
- Find and rescue Agent Track Star
- Repair any damage done to the pyramid


If anyone remains inside the Vanishing Pyramid 24 hours after the tremors first start, the pyramid will collapse. Anyone inside will be trapped forever!


   Ever since the “Zac Power” series first appeared on the scene in 2006, author H.I. Larry has had an enthusiastic fan base. Of course, “H.I. Larry” is but a pseudonym – the “Zac Power” series is actually written by a group of Australian writers – however, the very thought of an undisclosed, faceless author lends itself well to the spy-themed nature of the books themselves.

   Unlike some series, each “Zac Power” book can be read independently. Readers will encounter a new mission with every book that they pick up, always guaranteed a complete and fast-paced story. Young boys, in particular, will find this series to be un-put-downable, making it a perfect candidate for the reluctant reader.

   In the Tomb of Doom, readers will be especially impressed with the many different gizmos and gadgets that Zac uses to complete his mission, such as his “Head-Up Display Sunglasses” that allow him to receive classified information on the inside of each lens or his “GIB Track Changers” that enable him to disguise his own footprints as animal tracks. In turn, kids will be inspired to turn everyday objects into souped up spy tools, giving the book an awesomeness factor that cannot be beat.

   A cross between graphic novel and chapter book, Tomb of Doom is chock full of diagrams, charts, blueprints and maps. The book, itself, is a visual delight, and, without a doubt, readers will feel as though they’re surreptitiously flipping through a stack of top secret files. In true comic style, sound effects abound, nearly jumping off the page. Block lettered text screams “Kerrrrrr-Splattt!” and “Crrrrreeeeeak!” with fun and amusing effect.

   Zac, himself, brings a great deal of humour and levity to the story as well with his continual quest for coolness. He’ll go to great lengths to make sure that his hair is just so, using half a tube of super strength hair gel before going on a mission. And you can forget about ever seeing him in socks and sandals – even if that just so happens to be what is packed in his spy pack.

   The Tomb of Doom and the entire “Zac Power” series is a fun, modern version of the classic spy story. A surefire winner on any bookshelf!

Highly Recommended.

Lindsay Schluter is a Youth Services Librarian at the Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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