on April 24th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Science Fiction, Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
Before I get to my review I just want to thank Kat and Steph at Cuddlebuggery for starting Little Blogger, Big Ambitions! It gives bloggers like me who are just starting out a chance to review ARCs we might not otherwise be able to get. I also want to thank Kara at Great Imaginations for so generously donating Dark Eden!
Dark Eden is about a group of seven kids all suffering from unknown crippling phobias, that are sent away to a creepy dilapidated building in the woods known as Eden, as a last chance to cure their fears. There is 4 boys and 3 girls and we follow the story through the perspective of Will Besting. All these kids have been seeing the same therapist Dr. Cynthia Stevens and she decides that the only way left to help them is to send them all to see her mentor Rainsford.
Will Besting has a secret though. He is a listener and he knows a lot more about his fellow patients than they realize. He had taken all of the voice recordings Dr. Stevens keeps on file from their sessions and had been listening to them every night. He also wasn’t very happy about going to Eden. On the trek through the woods Will falls behind the group and decides to watch everyone approach Eden through the cover of the trees. What he sees chills him. Eden exudes evil and he decides right then to stay hiding, even though he is worried about Marisa, a girl he connected with through her recordings and on the brief trip there.
He manages to sneak past the cranky Mrs.Goring who makes the meals and lives in the basement of Eden. He finds a hidden bunker with a wall of computer screens to watch what is going on in the rooms above. He plans on hiding out here until the week is through and he can go home. What he sees on the screens though becomes more and more disturbing and he realizes he may have to do something to save the girl he cares about. Rainsford methods of helping people aren’t what they seem and something sinister is going on at Eden.
Dark Eden isn’t the kind of book that I would usually read but I am very glad that I did! It was creeptastically scary and kept me guessing to the end. It is interesting to see how life events can make something trivial into a crippling fear in your mind and how hard it can be to get over it. I genuinely felt bad for these characters and made a connection with them. Even Mrs. Goring, with all her cantankerous behavior, I truly felt sorry for in the end. Rainsford was the biggest mystery and I wasn’t entirely expecting the way his story ended. In the end Dark Eden makes you wonder what you would be willing to give up in exchange for being able to live without your greatest fear and what you would be willing to live with. I give Dark Eden a solid 4 out of 5 stars!
But be warned you may be caught making faces like this…