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


My legsssss…. Norwich is covered in snow, and I’ve been trekking about trying to find black cloaks for the next season of Dottie Smith Reviews (shooting tomorrow). I feel like a bloomin’ carthorse. And now to Anita Blake. Luckily I treated myself to the Monty Python boxset so I’ll just retreat when I get cross.

Lawrence and Anita sit down and talk. He’s revealed to be a ginger, although only a ginger can call a ginger ginger. He’s only twenty years old, and still in university. Ah, bless. I’m semi-pretty sure that he’s going to die. Anita asks him if anyone he knows died because… shut up. Lawrence says no, but that he used to get beat up a lot because he’s short.

There was a moment of nearly perfect understanding between us. A shared history of being the smallest kid in class. Years of being the last picked for sports. Being the automatic victim for bullies. Being short can make you mean. I was sure that we understood each other but being female, I had to verbalize it. Men do a lot of this mind-reading shit, but sometimes you’re wrong. I needed to know.

Avoiding that mind-reading crap (because I have literally no idea what she’s trying to say), small women don’t get bullied for being small. Women are naturally short. Look, I was bullied for eight straight years. I have been bullied for almost every reason under the sun. I went to a all girl’s school, and trust me, single sex schools are fucking brutal. And I can tell you, the small girls were not bullied. They were picked for gymnastics and dance and were generally popular. And Anita, you’re what, five foot something? Average height for a woman is five foot three. So shut your face, yo.

They talk about being beaten up, ah ah ahaha, Anita casually drops that Lawrence completely fucked up and the zombie had broken free of his control. It would have run off to find blood if she hadn’t stepped in to save the day. I’m surprised she didn’t whip out her magical zombie controlling voice. Lawrence says that he’s read the last two books and knows that zombies don’t attack people. Anita says that she’s changed what zombies do now, MWAHAHAHAHA, the powers of retcon!

Anita gets paged, alerting her to the next job, so they need to wrap up the Doughal case. The Doughal zombie doesn’t realise he’s dead and announces his intention to go home with his wife.

The zombie stared at me, perfectly arrogant. He must have been a real pain in the ass when he was alive, but even assholes are piteous once in a while.

Shut up Anita.

You know what’s funny? His family literally doesn’t give a shit. They just walk off, and don’t even say goodbye. Let’s say it together – everyone in the Anita Blake universe is an arsehole.

You would have thought they were the gateway drivers for a bank robbery, they peeled out so fast.

You’re all awful people.

Anita puts the zombie Doughal back into the grave, never to rise again, and never to offend Anita with his arrogance again.

Also there are a bunch of people watching Anita and Lawrence in the cemetery. Wheeeeeeeeee.

They run off back to the cars, but a man with a gun is waiting for them. Anita shoots him and he falls to the ground, unmoving. Voices start yelling out about how he was shot, instantly. Anita and Lawrence jump in a car, and a dozen or so people jump up. Anita ponders whether she’s murdered again tonight because the paperwork would be difficult. Lawrence drives off, but Jeremy Ruebens of Humans First is standing in the way. Being a decent human being, Lawrence slows down so he doesn’t mow him down. Anita berates him for this, shouts at him to go faster, and the car hits Mr Ruebens straight on.

Yeah, try explaining that in court.

I believed Ruebens would move. Honest. But even if her wasn’t bluffing, the only way out was either past him or through him. It was Ruebens’s choice.

Luckily, Ruebens gets up. I think he might be a terminator, seeing as he was hit dead centre with a rapidly accelerating car. The two drive away, and Lawrence proves again that he is a decent human being by questioning whether he should have hit Ruebens or not.

“Survival is the name of the game, Larry. If you can’t deal with that, find another business to be in.”

You can’t do successful hit and runs, Lawrence, so you should give up your job.

Larry had had his first taste of my world. The only question was, would he want a second dose, or would he run? Run or go, stay or fight, age-old questions. I wasn’t sure which way I wanted Larry to choose. He might live longer if he got the hell away from me, but then again maybe he wouldn’t. Heads they win, tails you lose.

Shut up Anita.

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

  1. Anita is 5’3. Granted, the average female height in America is 5’4, but she acts as if she’s soooo tiny, as does everyone else she encounters. I knew a girl IRL who found this truly grating, since she herself was 4’11 or 4’10.

    • 5’3 is not that short. My best friends at high school were around that height. It’s an issue for men, I should think, but women are generally that height. It’s not really a big deal… but ah, the Great and All Powerful Anita Blake has this gravitational orbit of misery and woe is me about her, so it must be an issue.

      • Seriously, if this were the real world, I doubt anyone would even NOTICE. Probably give her a ‘huh?’ look if she ever mentioned being short at all.

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