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


Anita washes off the vampire residue and actually heads out to work. She’s working with the new guy at Animators, Inc. A widow of five days wants her husband raised because he didn’t leave a will. They had three children and there’s an inheritance to share out.

They’d made a ruling just last month that the newly dead, a week or less, could be raised and verbally order a will.

It’s remarkable how many really super duper important to the plot laws, decrees and events happen the month before the plot of an Anita Blake book. It’s very coincidental.

Of course, how many people needed to use a cemetery road at 10:30 at night? Animators, voodoo priests, pot-smoking teenagers, necrophiliacs, satanists. You had to be a member of a legitimate religion and have a permit to worship in a cemetery after dark. Or be an animator.

Sometimes the Anita Blake universe reads like a horribly dark dystopia. I mean, come on, permission to go into a cemetery at night? There’s a big crowd out to see what Mr. Doughal has to say for his will.

It was amazing how many people dressed up to come to the graveyard.

I know, it’s almost like they respect things or something.

The new guy who is not supposed the be raising the zombie but is anyway for some unexplained reason is very young and powerful. Well, not that powerful, because he hasn’t got enough juice to raise this one properly. He gets all dizzy, does young mister Lawrence Kirkland, and Anita has to step in and help. It’s almost like she was supposed to raise this zombie.

The theory was that the new man already raised two zombies and would just watch me raise the third one.

You can’t even keep track of your continuity over the course of two pages, Hamilton. My god.

There’s a bit of a kerfuffle as Lawrence doesn’t let Anita into the blood circle for a while but then he does so hurray. She cuts open her wrist to redraw the circle and control the zombie.

I had to salvage this ceremony, or the zombie would be free with no boss. Zombies without bosses tended to eat people.

Mmmmm I love the smell of a retcon in the evening! You told us that zombies didn’t like to eat people, except in extreme circumstances.

The zombie stared at me. I dropped the knife and squeezed the skin around the wound. Blood welled out, thick and viscous. The zombie snatched at my hand. Its pale hands were cold and strong. Its head bowed over the wound, mouth sucking. It fed at my wrist, jaws working convulsively, swallowing as hard and fast as it could.

What? Since when have you needed to feed zombies your blood in these books? That’s never come up before, been mentioned or happened any other time you’ve raised the dead in these books. Like in the last one, when you got a zombie hoarde to rip people into shreds. You didn’t have to feed them blood, they skipped off back to their graves when you said so. And how come Anita can’t use the mystical voice that controls zombies to control this one, hmm?

Lawrence gets up and thinks it’ll be a bad idea if the zombie sucked Anita dry (I’m fairly neutral on the situation). He stops the zombie feeding, and a lawyer comes up so they can arrange the will. It’ll have to be quick – Anita’s boss charges by the minute and zombies rot incredibly fast. Apparently.

There were few things as sad as the family bringing dear old mom back to the cemetery with expensive perfume covering up the smell of decay. The worst was the client who had bathed her husband before bringing him back. She had to bring most of his flesh in a plastic garbage sack. The meat had just slid off the bone in the warm water.

Really? That sounds a bit unlikely, unless his body was very, very old and already a bit gooey. And then why did you not warn people that bathing a corpse might result in horrible traumatic memories?

Anita walks back to her car, not bothering to cover the wound in her arm, or go to the hospital about her blood loss. Because she’s fucking hardcore.

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

  1. I just noticed something – Anita sounds really jaded for someone who’s only 24. She sounds like someone in their 30s. And how long has she been at this job that she’s so big and famous? I doubt she was working there while getting her degree, so she’s maybe worked there for, what, two or three years?

    Oh, wait, she’s also LKH’s self-insert Mary Sue. So of course she has to be just old enough to be an “adult” but not so old as to be, well, “old”.

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