Dark Eden

Patrick Carman, Author
Patrick Carman. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-200970-8
Reviewed on: 09/26/2011
Release date: 11/01/2011
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-213263-5
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-06-210185-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211146-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-211147-0
Ebook - 64 pages - 978-0-06-220133-1
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-0-06-206178-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61657-042-2
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-06-210182-2
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-06-200971-5
Prebound-Glued - 316 pages - 978-0-606-26272-9
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-210184-6
Prebound-Sewn - 288 pages - 978-0-606-31806-8
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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.)