Review of The History Keepers series by Damian Dibben
2. Circus Maximus
3. Nightship To China
Review by Madeline Sornson, 12
Our protagonist Jake Djones is an ordinary boy with an extraordinary ability–much like the beloved Harry Potter. But Jake cannot wave a wand and cast spells; he can travel through time. And he must, in order to find his parents and rescue them from wherever they are in history.
Damian Dibben opens the series with the kidnapping of fourteen-year-old Jake. He is driven to a base hidden beneath a monument in London, and then he sails away to 19th century France, where he meets the members of the History Keepers–a secret society that travels back in time to stop history from being meddled with. Jake discovers that his parents are a part of this society, and that they had been sent out on a mission from which they did not return. Determined to rescue them, Jake joins a group of advanced members (who would soon become his best friends) on their way to Renaissance Italy, where the evil Prince Zeldt is plotting to destroy the world.
One of my favorite things about this series is that you get to travel with Jake to multiple different times and places in history. Circus Maximus takes place primarily in Ancient Rome, where Jake and his friends go to defeat Prince Zeldt’s sister, also known as the most evil woman in the world. Nightship To China is set, as you might expect, in Imperial China, where Jake goes to vanquish the terrifying, three-eyed Xi Xiang.
The Storm Begins, Circus Maximus, and Nightship to China are well written, and have twists and turns waiting on every page. There were some frightening, violent scenes (like the one where Jake ends up in a dark pit with dozens of fifteen-foot-long black mambas), but the wit and humor Dibben wove in made the books fun to read while still being packed with action.
These three books are almost impossible to put down. All ended in cliffhangers, so I hope that a fourth book is in the works. You will be desperate to find out what adventure Jake embarks on next.
Overall, I loved The History Keepers: The Storm Begins, as well as its sequels, and I would absolutely recommend them to any reader in search of an adventurous, comical, and engaging series.
The History Keepers series by Damian Dibben. Corgi Children's (2001). Buy the books here and support Stone Soup in the process!
Reviewer Madeline also did an interview with author Damian Dibben!
To see the great questions Madeline asked, and to learn more about The History Keepers series, Damian's writing process, and more, check out the interview here.