Friday, December 09, 2011

Dark Eden

Carman, Patrick. Dark Eden.
Will has been in therapy for too long, his parents feel, and when his doctor thinks that going away to a facility with six other incurable patients will benefit him, off he goes. He "knows" the other patients because he hacked into his doctor's computer and stole the audio files of their sessions, and has been listening to them. Each has a crippling fear, and Rainsford can help cure this. They are sent to a fortress like house in a remote area, and Will decides to hide in the woods rather than enter the house, eventually hiding in a bomb shelter/basement area because of the cold, where he has some limited contact with the others and is also able to use security cameras to see how they are "cured". When the first boy, who is deathly afraid of bugs, goes into a room to be cured, Will thinks he is dead after the room fills with images of the event which started the boy's fear, but when Ben appears healthy and free of his fear, Will is confused. One by one, the others confront their fears. Eventually, Will is forced out of hiding and has to decide if he wants to be cured or not. To say more would spoil the book.
Strengths: Fairly good suspense, and students like to read about horrible boot camp-like experiences. There is a Dark Eden app with a trailer, and it's possible to buy the book in 99 cent sections through the app.
Weaknesses: While I think Carman's Atherton series is solid sci fi, his Skeleton Creek and Trackers are good for an easy, cheaply bound Scholastic mysteries, and his 13 Days To Midnight was awesome and award-worthy, this one left me cold. Will's fear and cure felt very anticlimatic, and the explanation of how the cure worked made me shake my head. Since I have felt negative about much of what I have read this week, I'll offer the following sites, since they seemed more positive about the book in general.

The Well-Read Wife
The Book Bind
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
Sci Fi Fan Letter
Between the Pages

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