Published: 11/1/2011 byHarperCollins Children’s Books
From Goodreads: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 Bookish Brunette thought:
Oh how I love to be shrouded in cryptic conversation, that hints at what awesomeness is to come…That was my first thought as I started reading Dark Eden. What? I take notes, okay? Dr. Stevens is tirelessly trying to convince Will that Fort Eden, a place that specializes in helping kids overcome their fears, is the best chance he and six others has for getting help… Because she obviously can’t give it to him.
“Where is this place I’m not going to, and who are these people I won’t be meeting when I don’t get there?” ~Will
Ha! Win. This is something I would have said to some crazy lady trying to send me off to a Fort in God only knows where to overcome my “fear”. Will ends up losing that battle but has an ace up his sleeve, since he hacked the good doctor’s computer and stole all the files on Fort Eden… and the audio files on the six other patients who were going with him.
“the fort was like the anti- Eden, the place left over after the fall of man-kind.” ~Will, upon seeing Fort Eden the first time.
Will knows what awaits them inside Eden and he isn’t having any part in it. Instead, he flies under the radar, sneaks in through the kitchen where mean old Mrs. Goring spends most of her time and hides out in the basement. While one by one the other six chosen face their deepest, darkest fears- as Will watches like a voyeur from a secret room set up like a mission control.
Slowly Will builds a relationship with Marisa (one of ‘The 7′) through stolen meetings and whispered conversations. But, there’s a traitor in their midst… Is Marisa her? Can Will withstand the moment of truth? Will any actually of them survive Fort Eden?
Carman pulls us in a deep web of fears, life and the ultimate deceit of the one they all trusted the most… Wow! This book was seriously awesome! Toward the end, I kept glancing at the page number- thinking, “No way will he be able to pull off a satisfying ending to complete this freaking heart-stopping book.” And then… he DID. Carman even took it one step further and threw in a twist I absolutely NEVER saw coming.
Dark Eden was quick, clever and completely satisfying. At first I thought I would have liked to know the characters a little better than I did… but when you experience their greatest fears, along with watching the entire plot unfold around them- while they are completely oblivious to the severity of the events taking place… it’s actually very, very intimate. So I think some detachment was the entire point.
Bottom line- I’m now on the prowl for more of Patrick Carman’s books! I do believe I have another addiction that needs sated!