Saturday, July 7, 2012

OCD, Butterfly Clues, Atlantis Complex

OCD:  It's one of those meme-things.  You know, you decide to name your baby Eloise because the name is unusual without being weird and her nursery school class has four Eloises in it.  Or, one TV show centers around a brilliant nut-case and all of a sudden three or four shows have brilliant nut-cases in them. 

Here's the thing.  All those parents decided independently 3 or 4 years prior to ever speaking to each other that Eloise was the perfect unusual but not weird name.

TV shows take a couple of years to get on the air so - independently - different networks find themselves using very similar ideas.

It happens in science, too.  Darwin and Watkins (I think), Marconi and Tesla.  Although in science it might be borrowing from each other.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a YA fiction meme.  I downloaded Eoin Colfer's The Atlantis Complex to prepare myself for Artemis Fowl's last appearance - ever - in The Last Guardian (due out next week) and guess what neurological disorder Artemis develops?  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder!  Along with paranoia and delusions and multiple personality disorder.  His OCD is a symptom of the Atlantis Complex, developed by humans who have undergone prolonged exposure to magic.

Expect undersea disasters, explosions, magical hi-jinks, a particularly spectacular criminal plot and even a little bit of old-fashioned true love in The Atlantis Complex.  There are a lot of narrow- extremely narrow - escapes.  The most worrisome happening, though, is when Artemis' alter ego, Orion, takes over.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!  Now THAT is scary! 

At the same time, I picked up a copy of The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison, a pretty absorbing murder mystery whose heroine suffers from.....say it with me! OCD.  Yeah, with tapping and counting and magic words.  The heroine, Penelope (Lo), has also developed a compulsion to steal.    Penelope's disorder seems to be the result of grief and guilt over her brother's death. 

Penelope's story opens in Neverland, the seamy underside of Cleveland.  You never thought of Cleveland as having seams, right?  Penelope is looking for some last trace of her brother, and for pretty things to add to her vast collection of obsessively ordered keepsakes.  And suddenly a shot bursts through a window right above Penelope's head.  A girl, a young stripper, is the victim of that shooting.  Penelope seems to be the only one who cares about the crime.  Now, she has a new obsession - solving Sapphire's murder.  And she has a new friend, a homeless teen artist who calls himself Flynt, who reluctantly agrees to help her.  But is he only trying to make sure Lo doesn't find the answers?  Savvy murder mystery readers might guess who the culprit is but Lo's relationship with Flynt drives this book, along with Lo's discoveries about Sapphire and herself.

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