Review: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Publication Date: November 1st, 2011
Katherine Tegen Books
Format: Hardback, 316 pages
RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars
GOODREADS SUMMARY
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.

mso-hansi-theme-fontI give the author props for setting up a creepy world where you expect to be horrified at every turn.

I give the author props for conjuring up a group of characters whose seemingly normal temperaments belie the crippling fears they have within.

I give the author props for setting up a creepy world where you expect to be horrified at every turn.

I give the author props for writing pages upon pages of ominous scenarios, settings, and landscapes.
And as much as I want to say this book will the scare the pants out of you…I, unfortunately, cannot.
I don’t know why anyone would say this book can be classified as a thriller when it wasn’t even mildly so. I’m not trying to be a jerk by trivializing these kids’ fears but I felt like the entire set up was beyond over the top. The author made a fanfare out of everything – promising too much without really fulfilling. It was disappointing. I read…and read…and read and waited for that moment when my heart would skip a beat but it didn’t happen.
I’ll give you this: The twist near the end almost, ALMOST made reading this book worthwhile. However, it came out of the left field. It was one of those, ‘where the hell did that come from?’ moment. In the end, it was like the majority of the book was a fruitless practice because a major element of the plot was a surprise of an epic proportions. I think this is the first book I’ve ever read where the shock didn’t do much for me.
Incidentally, there’s an app for this book. It might enhance your reading experience better. As for me, I think I’ll pass. I’m sitting here and resisting the urge to pull my hair off their roots. I’ve read reviews for this book and I’m completely aghast that once again, y’all left me at the bus stop.
VERDICT: I don’t think I read the same book as everybody else. Or…there were some subliminal messages that I completely missed. All in all, this book was a disappointment and a half.
  • Thanks for honest review. Characters sound interesting though.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  • Aww, sad that this didn't meet your expectations. But based from your review..I don't think I would read this. 🙁 I like it when a book makes my heart leap up 10 feet into the air, only to come back thudding in my chest. Great honest review!

  • No, I agree with you Joy. I got an ARC before it came out and it showed promise – definitely the summary was solid and included an app to encourage the storyline (which I didn't have but I doubt it would have improved). But I found it BORING! I was waiting for the scary bits and anticipation for more. Nada. I get more from my old Christopher Pike books! This was tame.

    I doubt I'll read the next one.

  • It was an interesting book but a lot of promise and not enough fulfillment made for an unpleasant read. Oh well, can't win them all.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  • The description sounds pretty interesting but after reading your review I don't think this is a book I would enjoy.