Carman, Patrick. 2011. Dark eden. HarperCollins Publishers (Katherine Tegen Books). [email protected], (212-207-7000). 336pp. $17.00. ISBN 978-0-06-200970-8. Illustrated by Patrick Arrasmith.
Six teenagers are led deep into the woods with odd phobias they believe to be incurable. The fears include insects, heights, death, dogs, doctors and people. In the fort where they believe they will be cured, the teens meet a man named Rainsford. However, Rainsford is not all he seems. He only wants to trade his infected blood for their young, healthy blood. This is the only way he can remain immortal. Will, the main character, hides out for a while, but Rainsford eventually finds him. After the procedures, all the teens believe they are cured. Rainsford used hypnosis to make them forget the procedure. Upon leaving the fort, Will received a copy of the recordings of the procedures from Rainsford’s wife. In one of the recordings she explains that the side effect is an ailment that each teen will have for the rest of their lives. These ailments include arthritis, blood clots, deafness, fatigue, senility, and hair discoloration. Later, Will hypothesizes that Rainsford planted their fears in their minds and had planned the procedure a long time ago . He then vowed to catch Rainsford in the act next time. I enjoyed this book greatly and will be reading the second one. The book was suspenseful and kept me reading to the end. I believe this book is best suited for an age group of thirteen- to eighteen-year-olds. (NSB)