Circus Maximus by Damian Dibben
The History Keepers are in terrible danger once more. Stocks of Atomium - the crucial ingredient which allows them to travel through time - are perilously low, and the agents must embark on a risky mission to find more. And now a new and even more evil member of the Zeldt family is planning a hideous take-over of the Ancient world, and they are forced to travel further back into history than ever before in order to save the day. Well, all of the days actually.
Circus Maximus is the second book in Damian Dibben's History Keepers series, following directly on from events in The Storm Begins. Before I picked up this book I strapped on my seatbelt, because if Circus Maximus was as fast as its predecessor I would need it! Circus Maximus was indeed a great dash through time but I felt that the pace had lessened which made for a better story and everything came together well in the end.
This time around Jake and his friends Nathan and Charlie visit Sweden and Italy, searching for Topaz after receiving a cryptic message that she is located somewhere deep in history. Character-wise things remains pretty much the same but there is now time for the author to further elaborate on each. The dialogue still feels natural and there is a certain confidence now present between Jake and the others, in the way that jokes and puns are thrown at each other.
There is one thing that is a small bother to me though... While reading about Jake, now I know he is the main character and that he can pull off stuff and not get seriously hurt... But looking at what Jake does, the often fool-hardy actions he undertakes, which he is explicitly told by his friend to NOT do, he does anyway and the story takes a turn for the worse. I found this “doing what he feels like” often become predictable. Jake is enthusiastic, and that is understandable but I would just like to see him be more reserved in his actions and grow up a bit. Jake's friends, mainly Nathan and Charlie are just plan funny in their habits and greatly add to the story.
Next up the villains. What would a children’s story be without some villainous action? We have already met Prince Zeldt, now Agatha Zeldt fills the role of main baddie. I felt that the plot in Circus Maximus was better constructed and Agatha 's diabolical preparation took every detail into account and built up to a great final climax.
In conclusion... Circus Maximus is a great race through time, albeit at a slower pace than found previously in The Storm Begins. But this was not a let-down, actually quite the opposite as I found the more sedate pace brought the characters and their surroundings to life even better. The revisiting of historical events was again nicely done and this is what makes these books such a great adventure tale. The History Keepers is a great series for young and old alike; with agents, double-agents and spies, you never know where Jake will end-up as he attempts stop those who would change history!
A big thanks to Random House for kindly providing a review copy.
This Circus Maximus book review was written by Jasper de Joode
All reviews for: The History Keepers
The Storm Begins
The History Keepers: Book 1
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 h...
The History Keepers: Book 2
The History Keepers are in terrible danger once more. Stocks of Atomium - the crucial ingredient which allows them to travel through time - are perilously low, and the agen...
Have you read Circus Maximus?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Circus Maximus reader reviews
8.6/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The year is 1939. Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troop...
Guy Gavriel Kay
Set in a beleaguered land caught in a web of tyranny, Tigana is the deeply moving story of a people struggling to be free. A people so cursed by the dark sorceries of the t...
A Christmas Carol
It is Christmas Eve in Victorian London, and all around the snow-covered city people are rushing home to be with their families. All except one man, that is: Ebenezer Scroo...
Sailing to Sarantium
Guy Gavriel Kay
Rumoured to be responsible for the ascension of the previous Emperor, his uncle, amid fire and blood, Valerius the Trakesian has himself now risen to the Golden Throne of t...
In the winter of his eleventh year, Little Hawk goes deep into the forest, where he must endure a three-month test of solitude and survival which will turn him into a man. ...
As they approach adulthood, Cat Barahal and her cousin Bee think they understand the society they live in and their place within it. At a select academy they study new airs...
The Moon and the Sun
Vonda N McIntyre
Louis XIV, the Sun King, rules the Western World from the Chateau at Versailles. Marie- Josèphe de la Croix looks forward to assisting her brother in the scientific ...
Come one come all to greatest city in the world. In London, all men are free, the streets are lined with gold and the naughty ladies are friendly to all. In London there ar...
Who or what is Endymion Spring? A power for good, or for evil... A legendary book that holds the secret to a world of knowledge... A young boy without a voice - whose five-...
Publius Varrus is the last legionnaire in Britain, and The Skystone is in many ways his story. He is a common man with aristocratic friends, and successful both as a soldie...
Dreaming Of Zhou Gong
The Wu have been living in isolation for decades while the Shang Emperor and his enchantress have ruled the land. It has been a terrible time for the common people and the ...
Kepler is like you, but not like you. With a simple touch, Kepler can move into any body, live any life - for a moment, a day or for years. And your life could be next. SOM...
The Other Log of Phileas Fogg
Philip Jose Farmer
About a hundred years ago, a group of mutant supermen began playing a major role in our affairs. It is no accident that Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Nemo, and Doc Savag...
The High King of Montival
Rudi Mackenzie has returned to Montival with the Sword of the Lady, ready to face the legions of the Prophet. To achieve victory, Rudi must assemble a coalition of former e...
The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart
Edinburgh, 1874. On the coldest night the world has ever seen, Little Jack is born with a frozen heart and immediately undergoes a life-saving operation. But Dr Madeleine i...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
Best of 2016
The Silver Mask
The gods and goddesses are dead, killed two hundred years ago. With their destruction the moon split apart, the sun dwindled and the land was devastated. Civilisation has re-e...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
Forget the old days. Forget summer. Forget warmth. Forget anything that doesn’t help you survive in the endless white wilderness beyond the edges of a fallen world. Lynn McBride has learned much since society collapsed in the face of nuclear war and the relentless spread of disease. As the memories of her old life continue to haunt, she...
Paris was supposed to save Hallie. Now... well, let’s just say Paris has other ideas. There’s a strange woman called The Chronometrist who will not leave her al...
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...