Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Book Review: Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Pros: intriguing mysteries, several good plot twists, very light romance

Cons: simplistic writing for a teen book, end twist comes from left field

For Parents: the treatments are a little intense, but there's nothing particularly graphic, no swearing or content

Seven kids, each of whom have crippling fears, are shipped off to Fort Eden for treatment.  But Will Besting, one of the patients, suspects something sinister is going on.

I have very mixed feelings about this book.  On the one hand the writing is simplistic (lots of repetition, easy words, the end twist is narrated rather than something you discover), on the other hand there are some good plot twists and a light romance.

The protagonist did some things that seem strange until you discover his - rather apt - fear.  Indeed, learning what the kids are afraid of is part of the fun of this novel.  As are the hints that not everything's right in Eden.

I'd place this as a teen book for younger readers who don't mind a few chills.

*** Potential Spoiler Area ***

I was a bit ambivalent about the ending.  Part of the fun of reading is the opportunity to guess what's going to happen.  There's no guessing this ending, and not because the twist is just too clever.  You can't guess this because there are no real clues.  The ending is narrated to you after the fact.  And while everything you're told matches what happened in the book, it's a little disappointing to not have the chance to say, 'I was right' or even, 'wow, I totally missed that clue!'.


Maggie said...

Dark Eden… what is there to say about Dark Eden? Well, I know one thing for sure, it’s too amazing to capture its epicness in a Facebook comment. I really liked all the twists in the story. With other books, you can always figure out what’s coming up next, but Dark Eden is a whole different story. You can never tell what’s coming next, and this is a good thing! You get to the end of the book, and expect no more twists, or at least a small one, then this big humongonourmous one comes up and blows your socks off! You’re hyperventilating, your eyes are wide, you’re getting dizzy- “What was that!?” And then you’re reading it again. This is probably one of the best books I have read in a long time. It’s extremely amazing, it was written well, and the technology behind it makes it even better.

The app- WOW. I really like to be able to visualize something I’m reading, and the app does it for you! Using excerpts from the book, recording, videos, maps, and pictures to tell this amazing story all over again. It doesn’t just accompany it, it TELLS it. Which I have honestly never seen before. If I had to rate Dark Eden out of 10, I’d rate it a 10,000,000,000,000 and so on. Best book EVER!

Jessica Strider said...

Thanks for the comment Maggie.

I've heard good things about the Dark Eden app but haven't had the chance to try it.