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


It’s a loooooong chapter today. And I haven’t got much patience today to deal with bullshit.

It’s very dark and Anita gets grabbed by Aztec Joe. He offers her eternal life and youth. He’s a brave man. I wouldn’t want to deal with Anita for eternity. He wants her to take his second mark willing and damage the master.

You fool! Puddykins will not bow to anyone!

Anita shoots Aztec Joe in the throat and he throws her backwards. I’m not sure where she gets thrown, as she mentions water, so… she gets thrown out through the waterfall and lands on the ground? Because that would be a huge fall, and if she landed flat on her back on the river/lake coming away from the waterfall that would hurt. A lot. She might break some bones. But no, there’s no reaction and she scrambles through a cave while Aztec Joe, Melanie the not-lamia and the goons look for her.  Anita is trapped as the not-lamia begins to change shape.

Something with snakey eyes finds the cave and Anita shoots it.  She hears the sound of snakeskin on rocks and releases the not-lamia has turned into a snake and is after her. Anita starts crawling somewhere and I have no idea where she is, but she’s crawling about the place through ice water with a giant snake woman after her.

….

I need to evaluate my life choices.

Anita is running away from the giant snakes and slams her right arm into a rock, numbing her entire arm and making her drop the gun. Sure, she can fall hundreds of feet from a waterfall and land in a cave, but a knock from a rock causes her injury.

I could have broken my arm ramming into the ledge. The feeling was coming back in a painful wash of prickles and a throbbing ache where the rock had hit me.

You could have broken your back falling from the waterfall.

Anita whips out her two knives and gets herself ready to face off any number of snake people.

I got out the knife for my left hand. The right was still trembling. I was better right-handed, like most right-handed people.

Yes, most people are dominant in their dominant hands. What a revelation.

Anita stands, waiting to slit someone’s throat. A blonde goon with snake fangs comes in and Anita jabs her knife into his throat. He dies, and a big stream of blood shoots out, drenching Anita.  He drops a gun, which might be Anita’s into the water.

It was wet, but that didn’t matter. You could shoot most modern guns underwater and they worked fine. That was one of the things that made terrorism so easy.

I’m sorry Hamilton, but that statement is so stupid I am not even going to bother saying anything about it. Anything I say will just be angry and kind of stupid too.

The not-lamia and Aztec Joe appear at the mouth of the cave and Anita raised the gun to shoot at them.

She slid towards me, arms moving as if in time with her legs. Her whole body moved with the muscular thrusts of the tail. It looked curiously natural.

Yes, a snake moving like a snake is ‘curiously natural’.

Anita shoots the not-lamia and runs out the cave.

The air was warm and smelled faintly of flowers. Was it the lamia? Did she have other ways of catching me besides chasing? No; lamias could perform illusions only on men. That was their power. I wasn’t male, so I was safe.

Lamias prey on and eat children. She is a prohibitory monster; mothers tell their children of the lamia as a warning to stay safe and alert. They do NOT attack men. They certainly don’t cause illusions in this manner.

Anyway, the flowers mean that Aztec Joe has put his second mark on her. Or some crap. She dives into some water – I have honestly no idea where she is and I’m so confused – and there are black flames above her. They close in on her, like the blue flames of JC in the first book, and then there are flowers everywhere and i am so fucking confused.  Hamilton’s muddy writing strikes again!

Out of nowhere a male lamia appears.  Seeing as lamias are female, I have no clue what this thing is. Another not-lamia I guess. She fires at him but he doesn’t go down, and Aztec Joe tells her not to harm him. The male not-lamia crawls over her, biting her, so she stabs it in the eye with a knife. I think it dies, as Melanie the not-lamia pops up with Aztec Joe, swearing revenge for their deaths. Aztec Joe says being his servant will be punishment enough.

Anita hyperventilates to take in as much air as possible (WHICH IS REALLY DANGEROUS AND SILLY PLEASE I BEG OF YOU DO NOT DO THAT) and tries to swim through a tunnel. I had no idea she was in a tunnel. I am so confused. She swims somewhere and finds a hole in the wall to crawl to. Aztec Joe pops up behind her but luckily, the sun is out and he bursts into flame. The not-lamia comes out and chases her (?) but Anita gets out ahead, and runs down a hill towards a road. Two cars drive on by, but a green mazda stops.

oh joy it’s edward the vampire hunter.

“You were following me again.”

He smiled. “I lost you in the woods.”

“City boy,” I said.

His smile widened. “No name-calling. You look like you flunked your Girl Scout exam.”

Oh, isn’t it great that he’s following you around. That’s stalking, no matter how useful your stalker is.

This chapter was a mess.

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