A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Circus of the Damned’ chapter one


Righto peeps, time for Dottie to start reviewing Circus of the Damned! It’s going to be another long one, with this book compromising of 49 chapters – which says to me that Hamilton, after being really rather well behaved with her chapter lengths in The Laughing Corpse, has reverted to being stupid with them again. Oh well.

There was dried chicken blood imbedded under my fingernails. When you raise the dead for a living, you have to spill a little blood. It clung in flaking patches to my face and hands. I’d tried to clean the worst of it off before coming to this meeting, but some things only a shower would fix. I sipped coffee from a personalised mug that said, “Piss me off, pay the consequences,” and stared at the two men sitting across from me.

Embedded. It’s spelt embedded. (Well, at least in English, not American English). And lovely way to meet new clients there: covered in blood and with a bitchy mug. I bet people are tripping over themselves to hire you.

There are two men there, Jeremy Ruebens and Karl Inger. Ruebens is twitchy, and sensing weakness, Anita strikes and kills her prey. By which I mean, she screams at him for no apparent reason. Ruebens is upset about asking for help from a ‘zombie queen’ and Anita screams again. Polite. Ruebens, being scared into submission, says that he used to be a member of Humans Against Vampires and has started a new group called Humans First who are more ‘direct’ about getting vampires made illegal.

Anita reminisces about the good old days of vampire slaying. Now she has to get a pesky warrant for killing creatures formally acknowledged as having the exact same right to live as human beings. She has to wait until a vampire kills at least five people before she gets to kill ’em.

Since when? You never said that was the case in the previous two books. I smell the foul odour of a retcon.

Ruebens cuts into her daydreams and says that his simple goal is to have every vampire in the United States killed. Just the States you know, not the world, because the rest of the world doesn’t matter. Huh, new smell here. Smell o’genocide. He wants to know the location of the Master Vampire of the City, because surely a law enforcement officer is going to approve of your plan to commit bloody murder.

The people in these books are so stupid.

Reubens, whilst being a complete and utter arsewipe, rightly calls Anita out on being a bitch and then tries to wheedle her into breaking the law. Classy.

“The next time we meet, Anita Blake, you will be more cooperative,” Ruebens said.

Next time we meet, Anita will have officers of the police with her because you are a psychopathic asshole.

“You are an abomination before God.”

Where does it say ‘Thou shalt not be an animating bitch’?

The two people considering genocide go out and Anita gets a beep on her pager from the R-PIT squad. She does not consider telling them that there’s a hate group out there who wants to kill an entire species as Dolph has news of a juicy murder. It’s a lone vampire victim and despite talking about lone victims in the last book, Anita goes on about how unusual it is for a vampire to kill singularly. Even though it makes more sense to kill one person at a time, and thus avoid suspicion from the general population.

Police have very little sense of humor when they’re working on a murder case. Come to think of it, neither did I.

You were laughing and making bets when examining the corpse of an eviscerated woman in the last book. Don’t try and make yourself look noble Anita, it doesn’t work.

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7 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Circus of the Damned’ chapter one

  1. 1) Anita seems to be regularly really rude to customers. I’ve finished Skin Trade and started reading Flirt, and her interactions with clients are BEYOND rude and straight into disgusting and cruel territory….the disgusting being how she tells BOTH of them (separate clients, each wanted their spouse raised) that they’re not allowed to have sex with the zombie. Neither client said or implied they wanted to do so AT ALL, and it isn’t because it’s a standard procedure thing either. Anita literally just assumed for no reason that this was their goal. She was, for once, wrong. I think she was wrong about one, anyway, she might be right about the other. Haven’t gotten there yet. But there’s still nothing he did or said that should have brought that thought into ANYONE’S mind.

    It also gets stated in Flirt that she’s soooo good at raising zombies and that no one else in the state, possibly the world, can do it like she does (zombies that look alive, zombies that don’t know they’re dead, zombies from BURNED UP LITTLE BITS OF AN EXPLOSION VICTIM, etc.) so people have to pay top dollar just to get to talk to her about whether she’ll raise a zombie, let alone what they have to pay for her to actually do it, so obviously she has no fear of losing her job and is abusing that.

    2) She has to wait until they kill five people?! That’s…not the case in Skin Trade. It gets harped on REPEATEDLY in Skin Trade about how harsh the law is on vampires–one vampire was executed for shoplifting despite being a clinical kleptomaniac, and a group of vampires were scheduled to be executed without trial for holding a group of humans hostage (and maiming one of them) even though it was KNOWN that they had all been mind-controlled by a much more powerful vampire into doing so. I know my memory is shaky on the supernatural laws in place beyond Addison vs Clarke, but I am pretty sure there wasn’t a massive anti-vampire legal movement during the course of the books.

    3) Everyone is these books is AMAZINGLY stupid, yes

    • yeah, the shoplifting thing really annoys me. “Sorry kid, you stole a pair of undies, so now you’re dead.” Really? What happened to therapy? Lawyers? Mental institutions? I just don’t get it. Nope and I really want Lestat from Anne Rice’s books, to come and eat Anita’s face off. Right Now 🙂

      • It’s weird. Here the vampires actually get MORE leeway than human beings (since I’m pretty sure you can get the death penalty in the USA just for ONE murder, let alone five) and then later they get ZERO leeway to the point of absurdity and there’s never any explanation for why it’s one way in one book and another in a different one.

    • It seems so ridiculous that there’s a five kill limit when it wasn’t in the last book and witchcraft was instantly punishable by death. Aren’t there people you can hire to fact check against your own work?

  2. According to Laurel, you just can’t control those naughty vamps, so why bother giving them a change to seek mental help if they’ll just keep trying to steal stuff….or something like that. Oh, that vampire girl is just so powerful that she was captured easily, didn’t kill or mind anyone, and was taken to jail…maybe even by humans. I can’t recall the exact way they brought her in but it I don’t recall there being any carnage. If she killed some human, I’d understand more…but just for having the urge to take stuff? while people who actually walk around killing people *Olaf/Otto* are allowed to run free…a bit beyond me. 😉

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