Jake 2000 lives on the planet Chaos. He is the 2000th Jake to ferry eight-year-old dead kids across the Erebus to Shades, the land of the dead. His life is pretty routine. A batch of dead kids shows up and it's Jake's job to get them safely offshore and across the river. Unfortunately, Jake's side of the river is either erupting or collapsing. The sky spits fire. There are trap-spiders and Darts as big as 747s. On the river, there are giant slugs big eugh to swallow Jake's boat, and pirates out body-snatching. Two things happen that change his life. He's chosen by the Mumming- Gloria, and he meets Kate. He will have to do what one has ever done before--get into the land of the dead and out again alive. If he manages that, then he and Kate have only one more small thing to do-return control of the universe to the Mummings, the rightful guardians.