Review taken from my blog, The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
ARC First Sentence:
Why are you hiding in this room all alone?
This has been one fo the most difficult reviews for me to write. Why, because I enjoyed Dark Eden so much that it has just been practically impossible to put into words why I liked it as much as I did without rambling on endlessly.
Fear, what a scary word especially when paired with the premise of Dark Eden and the true purpose of Fort Eden, the institution where Will and six other kids are sent to conquer their fears. That there is the reason I wanted to read Dark Eden because I knew there had to be something sinister behind this whole cure thing, and boy was there. Mr. Carman did a most excellent job of creating a truly riveting read as the reader follows Will and the rest of the six's journey to loosing the fear that holds them back.
I have come across very few books that left me, while reading, breathless as the fate of the characters hangs in the very balance. I was so wrapped up in the plot, characters, and flow of Dark Eden that even when I wasn't reading it (had to put it down) it was all I could think about, especially since I always left off when will and the others seemed to be in peril. I also couldn't get this book out of my head for days after reading it, as my mind ran through all the twists and turns that the story took, because it was that good.
While a couple of plot points were pretty obvious to me, I could but help but be swept up in the moment while reading Dark Eden. Especially as the the stakes were raised.
As for the villain of the book I thought he was definitely a nutter, which becomes obvious as Will learns more of the truth behind the cure that Fort Eden offers. I thought it was definitely interesting the twist that was added concerning this part of the book since Will thought he was in control, but he wasn't.
One of the most interesting aspects of Dark Eden would have to be how each of the sevens fears were so different, and that there was usually some underlying reason for said fear. I thought it brought a certain addictive element to the story because I wanted to know why they were afraid of what they were. You also couldn't help but want them to be cured, while at the same time you could not help but feel bad for them when you learned what the cure would involve. As well as how it would change them.
I think what made Will, the main character, such an interesting characters was that he knew everything about the other six kids. plus it was interesting to read about a character who observed first instead of running head first into a situation without the slightest clue about what was really going on.
The other thing that made him stand out to me was that he knew his fear was irrational, and that he needed to get past it yet couldn't bring himself to.
What I really liked best about Dark Eden would have to be Mr. Carman's writing. I loved how he was able to instill a sense of fear into his writing; fear for each of the characters as I couldn't help but wonder if any of them would make it out of Fort Eden alive.
Either I devoured Dark Eden entirely too fast, or I just don't have any complaints this time around. *Ponders for a moment* Nothing is coming to mind...well, other than the fact the the map of Fort Eden and most of the artwork is not included in the ARC. I would have liked to see what wasn't included in the ARC, so I guess I'll just have to wait till it comes out to see.
Content (may contain spoilers): I was really surprised with how relatively clean Dark Eden was, I think there was only maybe one or two instances were any of the characters swore.
The only thing that may cause (younger) readers a bit of trouble would have to be when each of the 7 are forced to face their individual fears.
Final Verdict: Dark Eden will give you the chills as you learn the dark secrets concealed within Fort Eden.
Dark Eden earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.