The storm begins (The History Keepers book 1) by Damian Dibben, Doubleday, 2011.
This book cover looks like a great movie poster to me, so it was no surprise to learn that the movie rights have already been sold and that the author is also a screenwriter as well as book author. (After reading the book I KNOW this would make a great film…and I hope it doesn’t take too long to be made)
When Jake is kidnapped by strangers on a stormy London night he discovers his loving parents have been leading a double life and are now missing, lost somewhere in history. He is plunged into a world of secret societies, dangerous double agents, and a terrifying countdown to oblivion. Transported by a Spanish galleon back to 19th century France, he finds himself in the headquarters of The History Keepers – a remarkable league of time-travelling special agents. The History Keepers preserve the true course of history against those who would change it for their own gain, such as the diabolical Prince Zeldt. Driven by a sense of adventure and a desire to reunite his family, Jake makes the most thrilling – and dangerous – decision of his life.
From the book cover UK edition:
Imagine if you lost your parents – not just in place, but in time. Jake Djones’ mum and dad have gone missing and they could be anywhere in the world – at any time in history. Because the Djones family have an astonishing secret, which for years they’ve managed to keep – even from each other. They belong to the HISTORY KEEPERS: a secret society which travels through the centuries to prevent evil enemies from meddling with History itself. In the quest to find his parents, Jake is whisked from 21st Century London to 19th century France, the headquarters of the mysterious History Keepers, where he discovers the truth about his family’s disappearance – and the diabolical Prince Zeldt’s plan to destroy the world as we know it ..
What do I think about this book?:
This is a great, fast moving adventure of the swash buckling variety with lots of action, heroic acts and a bit of humor. I really could see this as a movie unfolding before my eyes as I read. Perfect for Year 5 – Year 8 readers (both boys and girls) who want a good adventure story with plenty of action.
This is another title where the publishers are counting on the reading public’s thirst for more books along the line of a certain young wizard who shall not be named as he has hung up his wand and invisibility cloak…however I am happy to explore any potential “read-alike” books, as the Harry Potter series is a great “hook” for young readers.
The difference here is that this is a time travel book (but without too many sic-fi overtones) rather than a magical fantasy. Like the main character the reader is jostled along without everything being revealed at once and it is both an intriguing and a thrilling ride. Rather than time travel where the story zips backwards and forwards between historical periods, this is relatively easy to follow and because most of the action takes place in one period of history you get to experience it in some depth without the description being too heavy for young readers. After reading the book I saw more in common with the pace of a Pirates of the Caribbean/Percy Jackson movie than Harry Potter.
I read this in two days and look forward to reading the already published sequel: History keepers – Circus maximus.