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Dark Eden (Dark Eden Series #1)

Dark Eden (Dark Eden Series #1)

4.3 40
by Patrick Carman

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When Will Besting approaches Fort Eden for the first time, he knows something isn't right. With more terrifying secrets at every turn, he discovers a hidden fear deep inside himself, a dark mystery a thousand years in the making, and the unexpected girl of his dreams. But can he save everyone from the dangers of Fort Eden before it's too late?

Patrick Carman's


When Will Besting approaches Fort Eden for the first time, he knows something isn't right. With more terrifying secrets at every turn, he discovers a hidden fear deep inside himself, a dark mystery a thousand years in the making, and the unexpected girl of his dreams. But can he save everyone from the dangers of Fort Eden before it's too late?

Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, the power of memory, and the mystery of love.

Editorial Reviews

Los Angeles Times
“DARK EDEN is a fast-paced thrill ride.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“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 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 added supernatural twist...maintains Fort Eden’s air of doom and gloom to the very end.
Publishers Weekly
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. (Nov.)
The Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
“The added supernatural twist...maintains Fort Eden’s air of doom and gloom to the very end.
Children's Literature - Maggie L. Schrock
Will Besting is a fifteen-year-old boy struggling with a life-crippling phobia. He is sent, by his psychiatrist, Dr. Stevens, to Fort Eden with six other fifteen-year-olds. Like Will, those six also suffer from life-crippling phobias. Will's fear of people forces him into hiding in a bomb shelter he finds in the basement of the caretaker's house. Strangely, this bomb shelter is equipped with monitors that show what is happening inside the main house at Fort Eden with Rainsford, Dr. Stevens' mentor. After watching a couple of his fellow camp-mates go through the cure for their fears, Will happens to find a pair of ear phones so he can also listen to what is happening. At night, Will makes trips into the main house and befriends Marisa, a girl afraid of being kidnapped. Will begins to care for Marisa and is afraid for her to go through this strange cure. He decides to rescue her from Fort Eden. Will discovers that Rainsford has figured out a way to stay alive forever. Left with this knowledge, it is up to Will to stop the madness as the story continues in this book's sequel. With an accompanying multimedia app, Carmen has again paired the written word with amazing audio and video files, which makes it perfect for today's youth. Reviewer: Maggie L. Schrock
VOYA - Susan Redman-Parodi
Dark Eden tells the story of Will Besting, an adolescent boy who, since traditional methods of psychotherapy has failed him, is sent to try a more rigorous course of techniques to cure his life-restricting phobias. Will joins six other teenagers, all of whom seek an alternative way to remedy their fears, at Fort Eden for aggressive therapy to conquer their afflictions. Fort Eden is nestled away in the woods, and proves early to deserve some skepticism. Will hides out, refusing to integrate with the group and take part in the rituals. He seeks refuge in a room in a cabin equipped with monitors synced to his cohorts' accommodations. Able to observe the situation, Will quickly becomes fearful of the therapy they are experiencing, and the more troubling side effects each of them is left with in place of their original phobias. He gains a unique perspective on the methods conducted at Fort Eden through his voyeurism and decides that the group facilitator, Rainsford, is not to be trusted. Able to evade detection for some time, Will is eventually captured and brought to be flooded with his fear to therapeutically overcome it. He is left with a fate that can only be a result of experiencing Dark Eden. Carman's idea for a story, as well as his marketing techniques, are interesting; however, its execution is shallow and leaves the reader unfulfilled. The characters are one-dimensional and not intriguing, described only to a point which illustrates their fears, not to a level which will draw compassion from the reader. The plotline is jagged and unpolished, an irrational outline of ideas that were never honed or refined. Dark Eden may by elusive and suspicious, but the reader will never be compelled to care about why. Reviewer: Susan Redman-Parodi
School Library Journal
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
Kirkus Reviews
The author of the Skeleton Creek and Trackers series continues to explore multiplatform narratives with this tale of phobia treatment gone awry. Two years of therapy have not helped 15-year-old Will Besting overcome his acute fear of crowds, and his parents are willing to try extreme measures. These include packing him off with six other phobic teens for treatment with pioneering therapist Rainsford at Fort Eden, a cluster of cold concrete buildings in the middle of a dark wood. Armed with only his homemade recording device and an MP3 player, Will investigates the brutal nature of Rainsford's cures. Carman's attempts to build a psychological thriller are hampered by both characters and climax. Will's observations of his fellow teens via monitor combine with his disregard for patient confidentiality to create an uncomfortable sensation of voyeurism, making it difficult to feel sympathy for him. The supposedly evil Rainsford, on the other hand, seems largely unthreatening until multiple epilogues provide insight into the motivation and process of the treatments. The other teens feel like color-coded numbers, there to advance the plot and devoid of personality beyond their phobias. A downloadable app will provide multimedia content on mobile devices; this is due in August 2011, some three months before the book's scheduled publication date. Carman's dedication to integrating digital content with print is admirable, but as a standalone book, this thriller doesn't thrill. (Mystery. 10-14)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Dark Eden Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 7.78(h) x 0.86(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

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Dark Eden 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
thereaderbee More than 1 year ago
Dark Eden is as engrossing as it is suspenseful, and it will have you guessing up until the end. The story revolves around a group of 7 teens, all which have crippling phobias. Together, they are sent to a rehabilitation center by their therapist, in an attempt to help them face their fears. We read the story from Will¿s point of view. I found will to be a very interesting character. I was really able to connect with his character because we have a phobia in common, although mine is not quite to the extent that his is. I enjoyed reading the book through his eyes. The secondary characters were quite interesting as well. The other teens were well developed; I really enjoyed them, and would have enjoyed reading more about them. Each teen had a distinct phobia that set them apart, and I found them all to be interesting. There were a few characters in the book that were really mysterious to me. They are the ones that you will love to hate, mostly Rainsford. While the book was a bit slow in some parts, for me, it was just building the suspense. I just had to know what was going to happen! The book was still very quick paced, and I had it finished in just a few hours time. Toward the end of the book is where we see most of the action, and it was definitely an ending I wasn¿t expecting. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. It was definitely a lot different from a lot of the books I have been reading lately, and it was a really nice change of pace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is way different from something i would normally read. Its a mystery book. Its from the point of view of Will. Seven teenagers go to this place, Dark Eden, where they get "cured" of their acute fears. The writing style threw me off at first, but then i got used to it. For most of the book, the chapters were very dull and boring until the end, making me not want to read the book. Even though half the stuff in the book seemed pointless when i read it, there ended up being a point to almost everything that happened. I would recommend this book to someone who wants a short read and likes mysteries.
Truly_Bookish More than 1 year ago
Everyone has fears, right? Imagine having phobias so debilitating, they prevent you from living a normal life, doing things that most people take for granted. For the seven teens who are sent to Fort Eden (a sort of rehab for people with severe phobias), therapy to has failed them and this is their last chance to be cured. The entire story is told from Will Besting's perspective and he is a great main character. Even though Will is quirky, Patrick Carman writes these little details that make the character so endearing and well rounded. I love the way Will depends on his recorder and listens to everything, preferring audio over video, choosing sounds over words. While we don't spend a lot of time with the other characters, we get to know them through Will. Carman does an excellent job of building suspense throughout the book. I was on the edge of my seat to know what all the character's fears were and exactly how Rainsford was curing them. I'm happy to say that I was a good girl and restrained myself from peeking at the end of the book while still in the middle of it and I was rewarded with the cool way the story unfolded. I don't want to give too much away because experiencing Dark Eden's mystery as it unfolds is a huge part of enjoying the novel. Dark Eden is original, thrilling, suspenseful and an all around enjoyable read. While I recommend it for anyone who likes a really good YA thriller, I especially recommend it for reluctant readers. Another thing I love about this book, no cliffhanger! This book could totally stand alone even though I would love another book in the series. Content: Kissing, some scary imagery. My Rating: Really Good!
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
To me this is one of those novels where its really hard to tell you about the book without giving to much away, so I just decided not to say a whole lot about the book. :) Will Besting, has a great fear and when it comes to going to Fort Eden he is dead against it. So when he is forced to go he finds a way to hid from everyone else and can see what is going on behind the scenes of Fort Eden. He can't believe what he is seeing on the monitors and he really wishes he had headphones so he could hear. Eventually he ventures out and talks to one of the girls and finds out what is going on. Some how Rainsford is curing the other teens, but he just doesn't think its that easy. Will doesn't want to be cured not after seeing what has been going on, he doesn't trust anyone. Will is a interesting character and it was nice having a book that was from a male POV. The ending of the story was the really strange part, when you find out what is really going on and how they are getting cured, etc. I thought it ended in a way that made it a stand alone novel and not a series, but I just got done looking at the publishers website and seen that Dark Eden 2 comes out in April 2012, so I guess it is a series after all. I guess everything has to be part of a series anymore. :( I wasn't sure what this book my be like when I started it, but it sounded cool. I was really hoping for a creepy, scary type novel. I thought since it was about a strange fort and teens with phobias that it would be creepy, but to me it wasn't at all what I was hoping. It was strange, yes, but overall I was a little disappointed. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the book but I just think my expectations were a little off. Over all I think for some readers this book might creep them out, but I have a hard time getting scared by books anymore. If you like suspenseful, thriller type novels then I would recommend you giving this book a try. Oh I wanted to mention something cool, this book has a interactive app that can be downloaded and it is really cool.
ReviewerRachel More than 1 year ago
Dark Eden by Patrick Carman The last thing Will Besting wanted to do, was be stuck on a bus with six other teenagers. They all had one thing in common: fear. They were all sent by Dr. Stevens to do the impossible, cure their fears. Dr Stevens had said she knew a man who could cure their fears. As they are told to go into the forest, Will follows his instincts. He runs. He observes what goes on in this 'therapy camp', Dark Eden, from afar and knows one thing. Things aren't what they seem. They aren't going after their fears, their fears are going after them. As Will listens, one question haunts his mind. Can they cure their fears, or is fear the cure? Woah. Seriously. This book is amazing (that word seriously does not do it justice.) *grabs thesaurus* This book is astounding. Patrick Carman''s ''Skeleton Creek'' is amazing, but I feel that this book is his best. Ever (although, I haven''t read all his books yet.) It blew the hinges off my door of expectations (no joke.) After months of anticipation, I looked at the book before me and wondered if maybe my expectations were too high. *snorts* yeah, right. If you read one book this year, this should be it. Will grabbed my attention and more importantly, my emotions. As Will tells his tale you become mesmerized in something so........relatable and at the same time, otherworldy. As he laughs you laugh and as his heart breaks, yours breaks too. That was just so....masterful. Perfect. Not to mention, this book had more twists in it than a stick of licorice. I cannot wait for the next installment. For all you who want to know the ''negatives'': two cuss words. It didn''t bother me. For all you tech/new wave people out there, the story is also told in app form (which is also fantastic, by the way.) This series is absolutely worth raving about. (which you people know I rarely do.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good characters, interesting plot twists, and an ending that genuinely surprised me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book
ReenaJacobs More than 1 year ago
Dark Eden started off quite slow. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. After reading the blurb, I thought the book would be a YA paranormal, but the further I progressed, the more it just seemed like a book about a boy with a phobia. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what his phobia was at first, only that he was elusive… and a bit of a stalker. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed the book was so far off from what I’d expected. I’m not saying a book about kids with mental disorders couldn’t be interesting. After all, I quite enjoyed Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson. It was more on the lines, I had no idea what the ultimate purpose of the story was until well into the book. What were the stakes? Simply spying on kids with phobias wasn’t enough for me. Eventually, I did discover what was at stake: be cured of the phobias using some weird, undisclosed method or continue to live with the fear. Even with the stakes laid out, they weren’t big enough to make this work stellar. Interestingly enough, the bread crumbs left as I followed the story kept me entertained and eager for the big reveal. Unfortunately, it never came. I hit the end of the book, well what seemed like the end, and was sorely disappointed in the conclusion. The ending was followed by several short sections which explained what was really going on in Dark Eden, and this is where I hit the paranormal aspect of the book. The oh by the way, this is what happened and why wrapped up everything in a nice package, but the presentation was flat and lacking in appeal. I hate to be overly critical, but Dark Eden by Patrick Carman was mediocre, which is a shame, because it had the potential to be so much more. I received this work from the publisher in exchange for a review. 2.5 stars
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
I liked this book! ohhhh the twists. One after another it just came at you. The idea of the plot is interesting by itself. A bunch of teens at an institution trying to deal with their own fears. Some of their fears were horrifying and made you want to cringe when you read through them. I liked how the book was divided up into their own fears (with the appropriate pictures to accompany it). The plot was good, the twists were appropriately placed and the overall mood of the story was dark and suitable. The characters were all right, I can’t really say they were likable. It was more like they were just there for your reading pleasure. I liked the explanation and the back story as to why this institution was created. I wasn’t expecting that AT ALL. It’s creative, and different and puts an interesting spin on this story. The ending leaves you wondering what’s going to happen but it keeps you curious and wanting more. The second book is out already and I’m going to grab it. The ending of Dark Eden was good enough to get me curious as to what was going to happen next. YA readers would enjoy this one. Especially fans who want a thriller.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BookWhales More than 1 year ago
With the buzz created by the release of its book 2 Eve of Destruction, I decided to buy this book and read it. I have good experience in reading Patrick Carman's books ( I really dig Land of Elyon Series and thoroughly enjoyed Black Circle) so I have a lot of expectations with this book. Onward with the review :D First thing that popped in my head after finishing the book is that it was a well written Goosebumps book. I found some similarities with the story plot and where the story went. Even the ending and resolution. But I think its a good thing right that series is a big hit back in the days :D I like how Psychology played a major part in this book. Being a person who finished a course with psychology on its subject, I can totally relate to the some or majority of the protocol done in this book. I think the book is well researched evidenced by some terms like "Flooding". The Illustrations were great. It adds to the darkness of the story. But it was a little bit of a give away on what the teen's fears are. Nevertheless it adds to the overall atmosphere of the book. Will Bestings, the protagonist, has a very good character. Even though he was sick, he has a great character. He is that person who despite of having fear, goes for what he believes in. He has a great sense of adventure in the book and it is clearly seen through his actions. (Although it did not turn out good for him) But neverthless I really like him as a person in the book. The other characters for me are just average. Nothing special about them. They were just there to add something for the story. Overall I liked this book. One of the better writings of Patrick Carman. But sadly it does not beat Land Of Elyon. It is still the best series he have so far. I give this book 4 whales.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book in one day in my Nook Tablet! I LOVED IT!! I felt that I could really relate to Avery, Will, amd Marisa! Best Patrick Carman (<3) book ive read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks very good i realy want it
love2readYA More than 1 year ago
The premise of the story is very original. I knew that something was strange from the get-go as did the main character Will. The true purpose of the "cure" really surprised me. I can not wait to read the sequel! I will also recommend this to my middle school students!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truly enjoyed this book. Had me turning pages from page one. The ending was nothing like I thought it would be. Completely surprised me. LOVED THIS BOOK!!!!
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abookforever More than 1 year ago
I am so glad this book has finally came out. I have been waiting months and months for this book and its finally here. :) Patrick Carman will not disappoint in this book. You will not be able to put it down. I know this book will be eerie and very suspenseful. The app is beautiful designed and created. It's a great addition to this book. I think everybody should go and grab this book today. I'm sure they will be flying off the shelves. :)
Andreat78 More than 1 year ago
In One Word ~ Confused I think my one word summary pretty much explains my thoughts on Dark Eden. I wasn't confused by the storyline, it wasn't hard to follow. I wasn't confused by the characters, their reactions or motivations. I was confused by my complete lack of feeling toward this book. I'm an emotional creature. If you've ever read my reviews, you'll know that. I'm dramatic, emphatic, prone to extreme reactions when it comes to reading. If I love a book, I will shout it through the blogosphere. I've been known to cry (sob actually) while reading a book. I cried last night while writing a review for a book that I loved. So, I was caught totally off-guard about my reaction, or lack thereof, for Dark Eden. I just kept reading and waiting for that moment when the book would suck me in. It simply never came. There was a moment towards the end of the book where main character, Will's,big, dramatic secret was revealed. I'm sure I was supposed to be shocked by that moment. I simply thought "Huh" and turned the page. I think the main reason I had very little reaction to the characters and what they went through was because there was very little background given into their pasts. I knew they all had debilitating phobias, but there was nothing there that made me actually care. The barest glimpse into the psyche of each character, Will excluded, was given. And to be honest, I felt little more treatment was given to him. Shouldn't I at least know and care about the main character of the book? I think so. Another aspect of the book that really bothered me was the ending, the motivation given to the man behind all the machinations at Eden camp. It felt rushed, completely off-base and not very well explained. When I read this, I just felt...disappointed. I know that I have given several reasons why I didn't like Dark Eden. I absolutely hate when I have to write a review like this. But if I can't be honest, what's the point. I will give a couple of positives, though. While I didn't care for some parts of the story, I do like the author's style. Much of the book was extremely easy to read, with a nice pace. Dark Eden is an extremely quick read. The idea in general was a good one. If I could have really gotten behind the story, it could have been fantastic. Favorite Quote: "That's the way it is with secrets. They pile on top of the other until it's like a house of cards that requires a lot of work to maintain." *I received a copy of Dark Eden from Harper Teen, in exchange for an honest review.
Max_Moseley More than 1 year ago
Once again Patrick Carman has proven himself to be a master at what he does: telling interesting stories in interesting ways. Dark Eden is not only available in the traditional book format, but also as an interactive app form for the iPhone. The story, which examines the fears of seven teenagers, is suspenseful and mysterious, and Carman's writing style is a joy to read. I can't wait to read more!
EDempsey-13Treasures More than 1 year ago
7 teens. 7 fears. Countless twists and turns. This a great teen read that adults will surely enjoy, too. As a reader we can all relate to being afraid of something and Dark Eden will pull you in. If you don't want to wait for the book, go ahead and get the Dark Eden app for your phone. A whole other way to experience the story. Patrick Carman is at the forefront of 21st Century literature and Dark Eden is a continuation of his successful ventures with an interactive/multimedia experience for readers.
BloodyHollows More than 1 year ago
This book sucked me right in from the first page! I couldn't get enough of it! It only took me two days to finish the whole book, I couldn't put it down! The creepiest story of the year! Both the book and the app are amazing! I love how you feel like you're right in the story, like Will Besting is talking to you. You also don't see anything coming your way until BAM! It hits you right in the face! When you also think that you've figured the mystery of Fort Eden, it suddenly sends you in a different direction. I never saw anything coming all the way until the end, and I was enjoying every minute of it! This book was constantly sending chills up my spine. If you're looking for a terrifying mystery that will leave you speachless, Dark Eden, both the app and the book, is perfect for you!
solesurviving39 More than 1 year ago
All I can say is that this is one of the best books Patrick Carman has written. I was able to read an Advanced Reader Copy, and it's full of action, fear, and suspense, and a great book to read. I would definitely recommend this book, and will reread it multiple times because of its awesomeness.