Dark Eden
Dark Eden

Series: Dark Eden Vol. 1   

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Annotation: While hiding out in a bomb shelter, Will Besting uncovers shocking secrets about nearby Fort Eden, a mysterious, remote treatment center where Will and six other fifteen-year-olds were sent for radical treatments to cure their phobias.
Catalog Number: #55208
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition Date: 2011
Pages: 316 pages
Availability: Available (Limited Quantities Available / While Supplies Last)
ISBN: Publisher: 0-06-200971-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-51817-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-06-200971-5 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-51817-9
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2011019389
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
When two years of therapy are unable to cure Will of a debilitating fear, he is sent along with six others to Fort Eden, a secluded camp with an unconventional treatment program. Will escapes and hides in a seemingly forgotten bomb shelter deep within a storeroom. One by one, at the direction of the eerie resident doctor, the others enter an empty room, confront their worst fear in shocking detail, then leave the room cured but changed l of which Will can observe through security monitors. When he is finally found and forced into the cure, Will uncovers some startling, deeply held secrets, but he loses most of his hearing. In this highly structured environment, there is an answer for each mystery and a reason for each twist, but, unfortunately, they come in a series of expository sections appended to the narrative. This edgy psychological horror is clever, suspenseful, and thoroughly modern: the story is extended in a smart-phone app featuring Will's audio recordings, maps, text, and highly stylized video for an immersive multimedia experience.
Horn Book
Seven teens afflicted by phobias are taken to an isolated rehabilitation center for experimental therapy. Will escapes and slowly learns of the procedure's devastating effects. The premise has potential, but in practice it's too bizarre to be truly scary. Final notes (ostensibly by Will) explaining the novel's symbols and illusions are condescending. There's an associated multimedia app.
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)
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.)

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
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/11)
Horn Book (4/1/12)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (10/1/11)
Voice of Youth Advocates
Word Count: 56,453
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 9.0 / quiz: 147891 / grade: Middle Grades+
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.3 / points:15.0 / quiz:Q55951
Lexile: 810L
Guided Reading Level: U
Fountas & Pinnell: U

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.

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