Oct 26, 2011

Review: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Title: Dark Eden
Author: Patrick Carman
Publisher:  HarperCollins Children’s Books
Publication Date: 11.1.11
Pages: 336
Genre: Horror
Series: No
Source: ARC from publisher

Rating: B+

Summary (from Amazon):
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?

This book could not have been read (for me) at a more opportune time. With Halloween right around the corner, this book is filled with terror, thrills, and chills. I am a horror-fan, so this book was right up my alley. Patrick Carman did a fantastic job. The way he wrote this novel pulled me in from the very beginning.

The story follows Will Besting, who has been seeing a therapist for a while to deal with his incessant fears, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. In a radical (but clearly calculated) maneuver, the therapist suggests he go away, with six other teens, to help Will get better by confronting their worst fears. What happens next is equal parts thrilling, horrifying, and incredible. I hate to say much more for fear of divulging too much. And while it started a little slow for my tastes, it quickly took off and I became engrossed in the story and finding out what would happen to Will.

What I will say is that this is an excellent cast. I love ensemble novels, and while the novel is told from Will’s perspective, you get a great sense of the six other teens. With a cast this diverse, the reader can easily find someone to identify with. There are hints of romance, but nothing solid. If you’re looking for a romance, this isn’t your book. If you’re looking to be scared and freak every time you hear a creak in the house? This is your book.

When I was first approached about reviewing this book, I was initially intrigued by the bonus content as opposed to the actual story (but I came to enjoy the story itself quite a lot). This book is so much more than just a story; there’s an entire website, smart phone app, and so much more that plays along to enhance the story. It made reading the novel an experience that I could actually, physically, get into. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun that was.

Buy: Amazon


  1. This sounds like a really good book. I have always loved horror stories and movies and this sounds like something I would love. I think everyone has phobias and it must be awful to have them so bad that you freeze up. I know that my phobia (crowds) makes me have panic attacks if I feel crowded, I can't breathe. This gets worse when I am sick, hard to breathe anyway.

  2. I've really been looking forward to reading this. There's this Fear test on the Dark Eden website that I though was pretty awesome to play around with. I keep hearing nothing but good reviews on Dark Eden. Great review! I like the fact that there is such a diverse set of characters and that there's not much of a romance in the book. There's no end of romance in most YA so this should be a refreshing break from it!

  3. I started this and got about 45% done, then I put it down to read something else. I thought the writing was wonderful, but I just couldn't get into the plot. I hope to pick it back up after reading a different book... Your review motivates me to finish it :)

  4. I would love to read this. I have it on my TBL.

  5. I just got this book this week - can't wait to read it :)

  6. Dark Eden sounds really good! I've had it on my list for a while, but never really thought about when I would get it and start reading it. But now I think I'll might do that soon.

  7. I totally understand what you mean about getting into this one. I won it by taking the fear test. I haven't read it yet but I will soon.

  8. This sounds so good. I haven't read a story lately without some bit of romance, so I'm always on the lookout for ones without a lot or any in them. I love a good horror story, this reminds me, now I dont think it will be quite like it at all but the description alone makes me think of The Home by Scott Nicholson. It's not YA but it's a good creepy story. Anyways, I've had this on my TBR for quite a while now and I'm definitely going to bump it up to read it sooner.


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