The History Keepers: The Storm Begins

Written by Damian Dibben
Review by Val Loh

The first volume of this fantasy series introduces Jake Djones, providing a fresh angle on time-slip novels. When his parents go missing for a few days, Jake is first kidnapped and then told that they have ventured back in time and have not returned. The truth, although difficult to accept, is that they are members of ‘The Time Keepers’ – an organisation formed to protect ‘Time’ against manipulation by evil villains.

The headquarters of this organisation is in Mont St Michael in 1820, at Point Zero. The method of travel is triggered by drinking ‘Atonium’, a precious and rare substance. It only works on those who have the power of the ‘valour’, which can be determined by a simple eye examination. This process is credibly explained as Jake’s first journey begins to find his parents and protect The Renaissance.

This is an accessible but enjoyably challenging read. The challenge comes from the deduction used to solve the clues, discovering facts about history and the detail of costume and place. The pace is swift as the action and adventure drive the story, including a fast-paced chase sequence, making it an interesting and exciting novel. Jake is a teenager who is discovering the world, past and present, with the awkwardness of his age, as he comes to terms with all the emotions such a situation would present. He learns and adapts quickly.

The story ends at a satisfying point, where the mission has been a success, but with the thread of a new one left to follow – a new adventure beckons, which I will look forward to reading.