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


Righto. Anita and the police have stormed into the shouldn’t-really-exist-by-her-own-continuity vampire vault and have no means with which to fight a vampire.

If I’d been superstitious, which I am not, I would have said the hospital was the perfect place for ghosts. There are different kinds of ghosts. The regular kind are spirits of the dead left behind when they should have gone to Heaven or Hell. Theologians had been arguing over what the existence of ghosts meant for God and the church for centuries. I don’t think God is particularly bothered by it, but the church is.

Um, no.

In the Protestant Church (and its derivatives), theologians have not been arguing for centuries over the position of ghosts. Spirits caught between Heaven and Hell cannot exist in Protestant theology because there is no scriptural basis for them, it sounds too much like purgatory (which has no scriptural basis and was thus rejected by Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and the like) and because it doesn’t fit in with the idea of pre-destination, which is very important in various branches of the Protestant church. There was an actual conference where theologians of the Protestant Reformation – including Martin Luther himself – sat down and decided whether ghosts existed or not. They decided, definitively, that they do not exist. In the Roman Catholic church, ghosts are generally supposed to exist as spirits tied to the earth. I have no idea what the impact is on the official position of ghosts is in the Catholic church since purgatory is not considered doctrine any more, but either way it all boils down to: no, churches does not argue about ghosts. And which ‘church’ are you talking about? There are more than one.

The police and Anita walk around the hospital and it’s all quiet because the undead don’t make any noise, or some other bullshit. Anita runs around and finds the body of a security guard. His spine is visible but I’m not sure how. The dead guy – or alive, because he’s described as being ‘rigid with pain’ – was Dolph’s old partner who retired to work security. Retirony right there. They take his gun because it has silver bullets.

Oh, no security guy is dead now, and Anita is quite sure that this vampire victim is not going to rise. I shouldn’t trust anything she says about vampires, though.

[Dolph] said, softly, “Sorry, Jimmy.” He still didn’t cry. I would have cried. But then, women have more chemicals in their tear ducts. It makes us tear up easier than men. Honest.

Chemistry aside, you still have to convince me that Anita experiences human emotion. I can’t believe that she could cry.

After finding that Dead Jimmy doesn’t have much ammo on him, Anita goes off again and finds another dead security guard. She’s been ripped in half, and her gun stolen.

The brand new cop vomits, and this makes Anita vomit. You know, while as realistic as it may be, I am amazed how Anita – who is totes tough and badass – always seems to vomit at crime scene. She then goes back to look at the bits of the woman’s body, and finds she’s covered with third-degree burns. So, apparently the vampire grabbed her and the cross set him on fire and the fire spread to her. Which doesn’t make much sense but um, yay, burns?

Guess this means crosses can’t stop this vampire because… shut up.

Dolph then sends all the officers away, apart from himself, the new cop and Anita. No, catching a dangerous creature and making sure it doesn’t go on a mad rampage killing members of the public willy nilly just isn’t very important, is it?

I don’t know why Dolph is a police officer. He is incredibly stupid.

The three of them stand outside the vault where the vampire is waiting. I think the new cop is going to die horribly for the sake of pathos.

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

  1. To be fair, ghosts are objectively known to be real in the Anitaverse, it’s not something you can debate, so quite possibly the history you cited went completely different in her world. What bugs me is how she states the bit about Heaven and Hell as if it’s definitely fact and not just a theory, because that’s NOT known to be a for-sure fact at all in the Anitaverse anymore than the existence of an afterlife is known in our world, and she knows this too. In Skin Trade, she’s asked about the souls of dead SWAT guys that are hovering around (souls and ghosts are different in the Anitaverse, but the Heaven/Hell thing still holds) and she admits to the reader that no one, including her, knows if there’s a Heaven or Hell or what that they ‘go on’ to after hovering around the site of their death for awhile…but then acts as if she totally knows and tells them that she believes there’s a Heaven and the souls of good people go there. And also tells them she doesn’t think there’s a Hell while telling the reader that she totally does.

    I think we’re supposed to applaud her for lying because it’s to make people feel better, but spreading misinformation and opinion disguised as fact when you’re a preternatural expert and being asked about matters related to that seems wrong to me.

    • I just like any excuse to talk about how Martin Luther officially ruled on ghosts. Oh Anita, and the lack of putting thought, effort, and believability into all aspects of the universe.

      • That is admittedly a very cool fact that I didn’t know!

        It really drives me nuts. I do have a genuine love for the idea of this universe, and seeing it executed so badly when it could be SO GOOD AND SO COOL hurts, man, it hurts.

      • That’s why I can still enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse books (despite their problems) because Harris builds up such a fantastic universe. A properly executed universe is one of literature’s greatest things.

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