Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Posted October 31, 2011 by Sara | Novel Novice 0 Comments

Just in time for Halloween, best-selling author Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden arrives in stores to scare the crap out of you. In a good way. No, really.

Carman’s Dark Eden is a super creepy tale of seven teens sent to the mysterious Fort Eden, where they will be “cured” of their acute and crippling fears. No one quite knows how the enigmatic Rainsford cures them of their fears — but except for a few aches and pains as side effect, the cure works. That’s not enough to convince 15-year-old Will Besting, however — who escapes from the group and hides out, watching the strange goings-on of Fort Eden. He knows something else is happening, he’s just not sure what … and the more he learns, the closer he comes to being the next one cured.

Carman excellently plays up the creepy factor in Dark Eden, with an eerie setting and lots of tension … you never know who might be lurking around that next corner, after all. But there’s also plenty of psychological creepiness going on as well, something only enhanced by the digital app that is an optional extension of the book. (And mad props go here to Carman and his team for dreaming up and executing a new high-tech way to experience reading! This is very cutting edge stuff, and a great way to draw in new readers.)

All the eerie, moody mystery continues to build throughout Dark Eden, making for a fast-paced, edge-of-your seat reading experience. It all culminates with a huge twist at the end that really shakes things up. It’s one I didn’t see coming (I mean, I had Patrick’s ominous warning that there was a twist — but I couldn’t have predicted what it was!).

Most of Carman’s work has been middle grade, with a few forrays into YA, and Dark Eden definitely feels like a younger YA — but that really only opens the book up to a wider audience. But before you hand this to a younger reader, make sure they’re ready for a big scare-fest.

Dark Eden is in stores today!

Sara | Novel Novice

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