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.
Gr 7 Up-A spooky, psychological thriller. Will Besting, 15, is afraid. The fear that he feels is irrational, a byproduct of a traumatic event he experienced as a child that he can't fully remember. His therapist Dr. Stevens, seeing no other way to help him, refers him to a mysterious man named Rainsford, who works out of an old, abandoned army base. After arriving at Fort Eden with six other patients, Will makes a break for it and manages to sequester himself in an old, nearly abandoned bunker with a mysterious bomb shelter. From there, he is able to monitor what happens at the base using old surveillance equipment. He witnesses silently as the other patients begin their "cures" in earnest but can't shake the suspicion that something at the base is really wrong, just below the surface. Further complicating his hidden observations is Davis, a former graduate of Fort Eden who both encourages the other patients and begins to hunt for Will in earnest. Will serves as an outsider among outsiders, unwilling to be cured of his fears by the seemingly amoral Dr. Stevens and Rainsford. A crotchety old cook serves as both comic relief and as chief antagonist, with the suspenseful threat of her discovering Will right under her nose always looming. 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. While elements of this story may at first seem predictable, the supernatural twist at the end will leave teens with more questions than answers.-Ryan Donovan, New York Public Library (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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 "DARK EDEN is a fast-paced thrill ride."--Los Angeles Times "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