I used to be. Back in the day when I thought there was a guy under my bed waiting for me to fall asleep so he could grab me. And maybe I was still a little frightened when things were really quiet in the dorm of my undergrad college and I was sure that everyone had disappeared from campus. The dark is also kind of daunting when I am camping at night and the trees move and it could be a bear or a murderer or a squirrel. So while I am not afraid of the dark, I do have a healthy respect for it. But what if you could not stop being afraid? What if your fear was ruling your life? What would you do if someone told you they could get rid of your fear forever? Would you do it, no matter what the cost?
Patrick Carman’s Dark Eden tackles this question. First you meet Will Besting. He has been scared for a long time, and his therapist has finally told him that there is nothing more she can do to cure him. He has only one last option, to go away on a retreat with six other incurable teens to finally overcome their fears. Will is against going, he is fine living his life in constant terror. But once his parent shave decided that he is going, there is no stopping it from happening. Good thing that Will just happened to download the other six patients’ audio files, and a map of the retreat area. Now Will exists in a world where he knows everything about everyone, and he is just going to hide away until the week is over. That was the plan before he saw the monitors, before he saw what happened to Ben, and before he decided to trust one of the six.
This book intrigued and at points overwhelmed me. You see all the action through Will’s eyes, and at points it can be frustrating, not knowing everything at once. The good thing about this book is that is connected to a website that allows you to explore more about the book, audio files, diaries, video, etc. The downside is that apparently only the first segment is free. I did have fun rummaging around the site though. All in all, Dark Eden is a book with an interesting premise, and an author who has the know how to pull it off. I fell like this could have been a silly idea coming from anyone else, but the book and all of the multi-media additions; make for a really interesting experience. Definitely not the book to miss.