Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Posted October 26, 2011 by Kara in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Cover Grade: B (I like it and I think it captures the ominous qualities of the story, but I want a little bit more.
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Dark EdenDark Eden by Patrick Carman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Review:

Dark Eden was a really interesting read. While the idea wasn’t wholly original, I think its execution was fantastic. This was easily a book I couldn’t put down. It was also an extremely quick read. Now I don’t know much about the app that goes along with it, but to my knowledge the app is an extension of the book. But the good thing is that the book stands on its own. You don’t need to have the app, but I have sampled it, and it helps visualize what you are reading. It adds to the experience. You can do both, or use just one. It’s all up to you, the reader. Cool, huh?

My first Patrick Carman read was Atherton. I thought that book was pretty special. Dark Eden captures the same magic, but in a completely different way. It was suspenseful, slightly frightening, mind-bending, and dark. It was also a lot of fun.

What if you were forced to face your deepest and darkest fears? But you were also promised a cure at the end of that process. Would you do it? And then at the end of everything, you found out that things were not quite what they seemed? How much would that suck? I can’t give away any spoilers, but I think you should read it. It’s also a great read for Halloween. It really gets you into the mood for the spooky season.

The setting was fantastic and really memorable. I read Dark Eden almost a month ago and I remember the setting and Fort Eden almost as if it was yesterday. It was unsettling, creepy and extremely well-written. Fantastic imagery.

I didn’t love Dark Eden, but I did like it. I didn’t really connect with the characters as much as I would have liked to. I think if I had, the book would have been a much more scary read for me. And ultimately, more entertaining. I felt like the story stayed too much on the surface and didn’t go as deep as it could have. In a book about fears, I wanted to find myself being afraid too. So in some ways it didn’t always work for me. But when it did, it was great. It’s still worth reading and I think Patrick Carman is a fantastic writer for young adults. I’d just like to see him go a little deeper and more detailed next time.

To preorder your own copy of Dark Eden by Patrick Carman, click on the following link which takes you to Amazon.com: Dark Eden.

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