Author: Patrick Carman
Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Paranormal
Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?
Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality.
THE FAERYS VIEW
Imagine your absolute worst fear and then multiply it by 100. That fear is so severe that it interferes with every aspect of your life-awake and asleep, if you’re able. That is what brings Will Besting and six other teens to Fort Eden, a special ‘Clinic’ where they’ll undergo treatment to cure them of their phobias but what they find there isn’t so much salvation as descent into the unknown where their fears are brought to life and what happens at the end of their time there just might be worse than their life altering phobias.
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman is told in first person by Will, I was taken on a suspenseful psychological thrill ride when he escapes the group and hides in a room where he’s able to view almost everything that’s happening on video monitors. With the help of the group’s facilitator, Dr. Rainsford, Will watches as each member of the group enters a mysterious chamber and comes out miraculously cured. Will watches closely though and every person cured seems to have something wrong, an ache or pain here, excessive sleepiness there; it just doesn’t add up and Will fears there is something very dark at work in Fort Eden.
Dark Eden was a little slow at the beginning but it picked up fairly quickly. I was bothered by the fact that I didn’t get to know what each person’s phobia was, particularly Wills, until later in the book but that's just me and my inate curiosity, for some it will probably add to the suspense. There is an underlying creepiness that pervades the entire book and the narrative is such that sometimes you feel as if you’re vacationing in Wills head-an extremely bizarre place to be but also kind of cool because he’s so smart and paranoid. I found myself becoming increasingly paranoid and weirded out even when I wasn’t sure if he was a little off his rocker or in the beginning when I was urging him in my mind to rejoin the group. This takes me to the plot! Mr. Carman kept me guessing until the very end and there were some plot twists that I didn’t see coming.
Dark Eden is a unique book, intriguing and fresh along with thrilling and suspenseful. The ending is definitely not what I expected and makes up for the slowness of the beginning.
THE FAERY SAYS YOU'll LIKE THIS BOOK!