Sunday, October 2, 2011


Title: Dark Eden
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Paranormal
Pages: 336

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.


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.



  1. As long as it picks up later I don't mind a bit of slowness. Oh this sounds so dark and is perfect for what I seem to be reading lately! LOL

    Hope you have been feeling well!

  2. I can't wait to start this one!!! It looks soooo awesome!

  3. @Melissa - it's well worth the slower beginning, it messes with your mind :o]

    Ash: You'll get into this one!

  4. Okay, I cheated and skimmed your review because I'm right in the middle of this one but I have to say it's driving me a little crazy like it did you because I don't know anyone's phobias. Not a bad thing, it's just making me on edge:)

  5. Hmmm, I'm not one for the mental thrillers. But this one does have a ring to it. :) Thank you!

  6. @Jenny: I know! It kind of drove me crazy! I thought it was just me being impatient, glad to know it's not just me :o] It's worth the wait for Wills!

    @Melissa: This one isn't really just a thriller, Mel, it has a definite paranormal element to it and a little romance, too, which I didn't go into. I think you'd like it-the whole time I was reading Dark Eden and even for a few days after, I had this delicious creepy feeling! LOL!

  7. I have to admit, I'm not really into thrillers...I need my romance, but this one does sound really good. I guess the not knowing about the phobias was intended so it could maybe add to the fear. Epe!

    Thanks for the review, Kristi. Hope you are feeling better. :)

  8. I haven't heard of this one. It sounds interesting though. A little like Virals, though I never read that one. Just the premise. I'm beginning to like thrillers so I might put this one on my TBR.

    Thanks for the review!