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The Soul Keepers


Death is just the beginning.

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Swoon Index

  • Heat

    6 (2 ratings)

  • Tears

    6 (2 ratings)

  • Laughs

    7 (2 ratings)

  • Thrills

    7 (4 ratings)

Full Description

After he is killed in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited by a snarky Brit named Basil to join the crew of the Harbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants.

Rhett and his new friends have a hard enough time fighting back the monsters that grow bolder and more ferocious every day. But then a new threat emerges, a demon who wants something that Rhett has. And if she gets it, it could mean the end of everything… for both the living and the dead.


The ship grew, slicing through the water, a colossal shard of metal, until it was nearly on top of them. Rhett could feel it: a low, steady thrum. The iron moaned as it bent and stretched, sounding more haunted than anything else Rhett had encountered since his death.

The hull was only a few feet away now. Rhett and Basil were deep in its shadow. Above them, the hard black exterior and warbling columns of smoke were like a second sky. Within those columns, Rhett was sure he could see bolts of blue lightning.

A horn blew then, deep, deafening, like the sound of a hundred bombs going off right in front of you. Rhett fought to not cover his ears. Basil already thought he was an idiot. He didn’t need him to think he was pathetic, too.

The horn cut off, leaving only the comparably quiet sound of the ocean, and the ship stopped moving. It floated there, looming over them, a monument to darkness.

“What now?” Rhett asked.

But before Basil could respond, a door on the side of the ship was opening with an iron screech. It swung outward. Behind it there was a square of light that was nearly blinding against the obscurity of the ship. But Rhett could make out a metal ramp that was extending out of the doorway like a rusty tongue.

The ramp crunched into the rock at Rhett’s feet, an invitation—or maybe a lure. He looked to Basil for guidance, raising his eyebrows. Basil just stepped onto the ramp, hands clutched behind his back, and began closing the gap between himself and the ship.

“Coming, mate?” he called over his shoulder.

Rhett glanced around. If he didn’t get on board, the only other option was to hang around on this damned rock for the rest of eternity. Or go for a swim…

He stepped onto the ramp. It only took fifteen steps to get to the ship.

And to his new life after death.


"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

"I was on the edge of my seat straight through Soul Keepers! The universe just sucks you in and refuses to spit you back out. I can honestly say there's nothing else quite like it out there. I loved this book and I can't wait to read it again!!!" —Lillian, Swoon Reader

“Definitely different from anything I’ve ever read before, and I’ve read a lot of books.” —Rachel Carrington, Swoon Reader