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Dagger Hill

Description

It knows your fear.

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Editing in progress!

ON SALE: AUGUST 17, 2021

Swoon Index

  • Heat

    Not rated

  • Tears

    Not rated

  • Laughs

    Not rated

  • Thrills

    Not rated

Full Description

Summer, 1989. Four best friends—Gabe, Kimberly, Charlie, and Sonya—are preparing for their last summer together before senior year. They make a promise to always find their way back to each other, no matter how far away from their sleepy Pennsylvania hometown they get after graduation.

But their plans are destroyed when a plane crashes right on top of their favorite hangout outside of town—and right on top of them.

In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Gabe, Sonya and Charlie are plagued by eerie visions and messages from an unknown watcher. They soon realize that the plane crash was no accident, and now they are being hunted by a sinister presence. And everyone is still searching for Kimberly, who has been missing ever since Gabe saw somebody wearing a gas mask carry her out of the woods the day the sky fell down on them...

Excerpt

More thunder rips across the sky right above us. We all flinch.

"Okay,” Gabe says. "It might be time to get back to the car."

"You think?" Sonya asks, looking up.

But nobody moves. My feet are fused to the ground. I can’t even turn and face the storm head-on. I realize it’s because I’m afraid. Apart from the thunder and the lightning—which aren’t my favorite to begin with—there’s that other thing. That hum that keeps getting louder, almost lost in the rustle of leaves and howl of the wind. Almost, but not quite.

It’s building.

Finally, I manage to get my legs working. I turn and see curtains of rain sweeping over Windale like broom bristles. Currents of white lightning connect the sky to the buildings and roads of town. I think of Back to the Future, still the best movie I’ve seen this decade, even after almost four years. Down in Windale, there’s a clock fixed at the top of Town Hall. I imagine it being struck by lightning, frying it in place, stopping time in Windale forever. Maybe then senior year won’t come, and graduation after that.

Maybe then I won’t have to watch my friends leave me behind.

It’s only a fleeting wish. There and gone again. I regain focus when the sound of squawking birds and flapping wings fills the air somewhere above us. I look up, peering into the cloud cover, and all I see are tiny dark shapes moving in the gloom. Hundreds of them, heading east, racing away from the storm.

Or from something else.

Then that whine becomes a moan becomes a screech becomes a scream becomes a roar. The dark shape of something that’s way bigger than a frightened bird appears within the storm clouds, backlit by blue stutters of lightning. It’s only a shadow for a moment before it bursts out of the mist, real and tangible, barreling right at us. The sound of it swallows up all other sounds. The storm is a far-flung memory. So is our summer.

This is when everything changes.

Genre

Praise

The Soul Keepers:

"A fantastic high-stakes adventure on a ghost ship sailing forever into eternity, where every soul is (literally) worth fighting for—what's not to love? Devon Taylor weaves an endearing tale of friendship and loss with heart-stopping action and a whole lot of terrifying monsters. You'll root for Rhett and his fellow reapers through every twist and turn!" —Rin Chupeco, author of The Bone Witch and The Girl from the Well

"This pirate thriller starts off running and doesn’t stop, but the relationships between Rhett and his new companions—all young like himself—mirror the reality of the adolescent need for acceptance in a way that transcends entertainment. Rhett may be only 17, but he matures beyond his youth as he finds purpose in the meaningfulness of his work. ... This series starter will please teens who enjoy the ghostly tales and dark sarcasm of Neil Gaiman and Ransom Riggs." —School Library Journal

"With thrilling action, lovable characters, and wildly original world-building, The Soul Keepers is an absolute delight!" —Andrew Shvarts, author of Royal Bastards

"Debut novelist Taylor has a way with words ... He presents an interesting twist on the world we know, which should appeal to teen readers looking for the fun of piracy with the spook of a good ghost story." —Booklist