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Dark Eden Paperback – April 24, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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)

“DARK EDEN is a fast-paced thrill ride.” (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)

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 two books in the Pulse series. A multimedia pioneer, Patrick authored The Black Circle, the fifth title in the 39 Clues series, and the groundbreaking Dark Eden, 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. He lives in Walla Walla, Washington, with his family.

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Product Details

  • Series: Dark Eden (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062009710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062009715
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,187,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By ĴĴ VINE VOICE on September 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It may sound like a cheesy or cheap way to describe this book, but I truly have to say that it was a page-turning thriller which I couldn't put down. "Dark Eden" is twisted but only in a good way, giving the reader a psychological trip that won't be forgotten anytime soon. I don't rate books on Amazon with 5 stars frequently, but I think that this book deserves all 5 stars because of the excellent storytelling, character development, and technical writing present in this work.

STORY - Will Besting has a fear. Will doesn't have a normal little phobia, though, such as being scared of heights or creeped out by snakes. No, Will has an irrational, nightmarish fear that has caused him to need counseling for a very long time. The counseling doesn't seem to be doing much good, however. His doctor finally admits that she can't do anything else for him except send him off on a week-long retreat with six other patients that have equally frightening fears which she hasn't been able to cure either. Will doesn't want to go, but his parents overrule him and send him to a place they are confident will heal him. A place where the cure to fear is believed to be fear itself. A place where the teens may leave, never able to be cured again.

WRITING STYLE - The story is fantastic, but I will admit that it started out a bit slow, seeming like it was simply describing a field trip instead of a trip to a healing mental retreat. However, the story quickly picked up speed early on and never slowed down again.

With the exception of an intro and epilogue-like ending, the book is divided into six main chapters: one for each of the teens at the retreat with two of the boys squeezed into the same chapter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I started this book, I really wasn't sure what to expect. A psychological thriller, of course. A lot to do with fears and curing them. I was expecting the unexpected though, and that's exactly what this book gave me. At the very end, it was a huge "WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?" moment.

I really liked the way the fears were "cured" - I thought it was really interesting to see who was afraid of what, and why. And I also really enjoyed the Masque of the Red Death tie-in. I thought it gave the whole novel an interesting twist, especially with how it ends. Because Rainsford - what in the world is up with that guy? I'm hoping Carman delves deeper into his character in the next book. Mrs. Goring too. I really want to know more about her past, and why she even has the association with Rainsford that she does. Especially knowing how and why he cures the teenagers.

Although I initially found Will to be a very strange character (since his fear is not revealed until about halfway through the book), I actually found myself liking and even feeling sorry for him by the time it comes for him to be cured. Especially after finding out why he fears what he does. I really liked the way that Carman had that happen, especially since Will spends most of the novel hidden away in a room by himself watching and listening to the other kids.

I'm pretty excited to read the next novel in the series, since I think that the "new and improved" Will Besting will be a very interesting character. Having him finally able to live without being crippled by his (not so ir)rational fear will bring out quite a lot in him that I think was lacking in this installment.

Overall, I think I would give this book a 3/5.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Seven teenagers, each suffering from a crippling fear, are taken to a remote facility out in the woods somewhere. It's called Fort Eden, apparently because it used to be some kind of military outpost. The book's hero, 15-year-old Will, slips away from the group after they arrive, hiding out in an underground bunker he discovers within the complex. He finds a bomb shelter with monitors that allow him to view the progress the other six are making in getting "cured" at the hands of the mysterious Dr. Rainsford. This YA novel, Dark Eden, had some success at creating a scary, creepy atmosphere, and the idea of how the "cures" are conducted was an original one. But as I read further into the book, I began thinking of the problem I eventually had with the TV show "Lost," that too many mysteries were established without enough answers being revealed. That led to the frustrating feeling of being strung along by the show's creators. There's a similar situation in Dark Eden. Although eventually most everything IS explained before the book's end (in relatively mind-blowing fashion), getting to that point was a slow and somewhat annoying process. Also, once Will observed the first "cure" taking place, I knew that I would have to read through at least five more similar scenes (not counting Will's own "cure"). Sure enough, while there were variations (mainly that each subject's fear was different), the "cure" scenes did get a bit repetitive. In the end, this was a fairly middle-of-the-road YA novel; not the best YA novel I've read in recent years, but far from the worst.
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