Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Carman (the Skeleton Creek series) continues to play with the integration of print and digital media, crafting a competent but slow thriller about seven teens with serious phobias who have been sent to a last-ditch facility to help them conquer their fears. Rainsford, the man at the head of Fort Eden, uses painful, high-tech aversion therapy that works but leaves its subjects with debilitating side effects that he insists will wear off. Agoraphobic 15-year-old Will Besting takes an instant dislike to the place, hiding in the basement of an outbuilding where he discovers an electronic setup that allows him to watch the others' treatments; it eventually becomes clear that something other than therapy is going on. Though teamed up with an elaborate interactive Web site and an iPhone app, Carman's tale isn't entirely successful in making things seem as bad as Will believes; when, in what is essentially an afterword, readers discover what's behind the supposed therapy, it doesn't have the impact that it might. Still, for younger teens, the book's relatively low fear factor might be an advantage. Ages 12 up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A spooky, psychological thriller. With seven different characters who have seven different fears, there is bound to be someone for readers to relate to in one way or another...the supernatural twist at the end will leave teens with more questions than answers." School Library Journal
"A compelling read that transposes the best aspects of classic horror storytelling onto a modern backwoods adventure reluctantly experienced by seven terrified teens." Los Angeles Times
"The added supernatural twist...maintains Fort Eden's air of doom and gloom to the very end." Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The commentary on today's life-as-public-spectacle society is sound. The pacing is relentless, and readers will find themselves flipping madly to the very last page."
About the Author
Patrick Carman is the New York Times bestselling author of such acclaimed series as the Land of Elyon and Atherton, the teen superhero novel Thirteen Days to Midnight, and the first Dark Eden book. A multimedia pioneer, Patrick authored The Black Circle, the fifth title in the 39 Clues series, and the groundbreaking Skeleton Creek and Trackers books. An enthusiastic reading advocate, Patrick has visited more than one thousand schools, developed village library projects in Central America, and created author outreach programs for communities.