Review

Dark Eden: Eve of Destruction

by Patrick Carman

Sixteen-year-old Will Besting no longer suffers from his crippling phobia, nor do the other teens who underwent the same intense, radical treatment at the remote Fort Eden. However, the cures came at a big price. Each has spent the past year suffering different, unbearable side effects. Will is slowly losing his hearing, while his girlfriend, Marisa, sleeps all the time. Ben has aching arthritis, Kate endures painful migraines, Connor suffers dizzy spells, and Alex has poor circulation causing his legs to fall asleep.

"With DARK EDEN: EVE OF DESTRUCTION, the talented Patrick Carman delivers another intriguing novel full of secrets and suspense."

And then there’s Avery. No one has seen the seventh member of their group, as she chose to stay behind at Fort Eden. Avery’s affliction is turning her hair white. None of the teens understand the side effects that have altered their lives, except for Will. He knows the truth about what happens at Fort Eden, yet he hasn’t shared it with the others. But the time has come for honesty…and revenge.

Will receives a letter from his former therapist requesting that he gather up the group and return to Fort Eden. Her reason is that the old caretaker, Mrs. Goring, is dying and wishes to see them once again. But that is just a ruse. Mrs. Goring is hardly dying; she just wants to extract revenge on the evil Dr. Rainsford and needs their help to do it. However, the teens will benefit from the plan as well. It turns out that there is a cure for all of their ailments and the chance to rid themselves of their crippling side effects. First, though, Mrs. Goring and Will must explain what really happened last year during their treatments. None of the teens are happy to learn they’ve been lied to, especially Will’s girlfriend.

The next step isn’t easy either. They must enter an old missile silo buried deep in the ground. Hidden inside are the vials of blood that Dr. Rainsford extracted from each of his victims. The teens need to retrieve the vials to use for both their cures and revenge. Unfortunately, the old missile silo tunnels are strewn with multiple dangers like nuclear waste and pits of electrified water. Will is given the job of leader; he must sit in the control room guiding the others and unlocking doors. Massive trust is involved, which the others are sorely lacking since learning that Will had kept important secrets from them. But if they are to get out alive, they all must work together. Unfortunately, there is another danger locked in the missile silo with them --- the evil Dr. Rainsford.

This is a fascinating thriller of colorful characters ensnared in unexpected human greed. Patrick Carman brings back all of the main characters from DARK EDEN, both the loved and the despised, and drops them into a dangerous pit of horrors for another round of unforeseen quests. Once again, Carman utilizes the unique tools of footnotes, not often seen in novels, and the Internet, by including links to videos of the characters’ cures from the first book. A majority of the story takes place during a seven-hour period, which makes the plot fast paced and captivating. The parts that occur in the old missile silo with Will at the control panel are interesting because they seem like a twisted video game; Will is the controller, and the other teens are the live person pawns. A handful of vivid black and white illustrations by Patrick Arrasmith add some dramatic effects.

With DARK EDEN: EVE OF DESTRUCTION, the talented Patrick Carman delivers another intriguing novel full of secrets and suspense.

Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman on April 27, 2012

Dark Eden: Eve of Destruction
by Patrick Carman