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


it's on bitch

Dream sequence time.

oh hell no!

badass anna

Have I ever mentioned how much I intensely dislike dream sequences? I see them as lazy excuses for exposition and finding things out and romantic tension. In general, they suck.

It’s time for one of Dottie’s patented bullpoint lists to deal with huge amounts of stupid shit!

  • She is in a bedoom
  • it’s the colour of ‘midnight skies’
  • jeeeeeeesus
  • she’s pimping in a big ballgown because JC just loves Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • She yells at JC for dressing her up in her dreams
  • He starts unbuttoning his shirt
  • His chest is white and she talks about his nipples
  • again
  • she’s also fascinated by his pubes
  • I really needed to know that
  • He says about how much she wants him
  • she says to leave her the fuck alone, which sounds like she isn’t consenting to dream sex
  • He says one kiss and he’ll let her go
  • He kisses her and Anita talks about how his hair is baby soft. Which is not a good thing to associate with grown men.
  • “You want it.”
  • “Stop it, now!”
  • “NO!”
  • JC, that sounds like the sound of NOT CONSENTING
  • He pushes her on the bed
  • she wakes up

Black and white drapes were suspended from the ceiling in a soft fan. The bed was black satin with too many pillows thrown all over the place. The pillows were all black or white. I was wearing a black gown with spaghetti straps. It felt like real silk and fit me perfectly.

Oh, someone undressed you while you were unconscious.  But that’s fine if they dressed you in a garment of high quality.

Anita looks at her wrist which was bandaged and notes she did not injure it in the cave. No, you didn’t injure anything when you should have. She also hasn’t died of poison. What a highly observant young woman she is.

I stared at myself in the vanity mirror. In the black negligee my skin was white, my hair long and black as the gown. I laughed. I matched the decor. I matched the damn decor.

Yeah, you look white, woman who is Mexican.

JC then shows up. Yay.

Basically, by giving her the third mark of vampire servitude, he saved her life. Let me remind you that the marks of vampire servitude are always spoken of in sexual terms, and the act of forcing one upon a human is compared to the violence and degradation of rape. JC forced this on Anita while she was unconscious and unable to consent. That is not romantic. That is not selfless. That is the act of a man who is used to getting his way, and when it is denied, does it anyway.

I do not like Jean-Claude. In fact, I do not like any vampire romantic love interests in any supernatural fiction I have read to this date. I have yet to read of one who does not force his affections upon his chosen love interest or to respect the woman he has chosen (I say woman because let’s face it, all the romances are with women protagonists).  I am fed up of it. If you want me to find a relationship involving and romantic, you have to give me more than the ‘forbidden relationship’ angle. Why did Buffy and Angel work? Because they had chemistry, because their story felt genuine, because Angel did not feel the need to force his affection on her and expect her to not react and find it all okay.  R and Julie in Warm Bodies – I felt for them because I could see the genuine nature of R’s affection for Julie, even though he was a zombie. I cannot buy JC and Anita in a healthy relationship because they do not work together.  They abuse each other.  Their personalities clash. And, above all, at each step of the way towards the eventual culmination of all this bullshit UST, JC has forced himself and his desires onto Anita without either her knowledge or her consent. That’s not romance. That’s borderline abusive.

Richard comes in and tries to calm her down. You know what? I liked you Richard, but now you’re just an accomplice to this ridiculous forcing-vampire-mark bullshit. You can go fuck yourself now. You can go on about how you couldn’t let her die, but she didn’t give her consent to something akin to rape.

Basically, the third mark means that JC can talk at her all day and all night, not needing to confine himself to her dreams – thought hat was bad enough. Anita can’t die by poison now, but that isn’t the point. She also can’t kill him without hurting herself.

Fuck you Jean-Claude.

Anyway, like any person who’s been forced into something that was a violation of their mind and body, Anita just wants to go home.

“Take her home, Richard. Though I do not envy you the ride there.” [JC] glanced back with a smile. “She can be quite vocal when she’s angry.”

JC. You compared putting a vampire mark on an unwilling human to rape. I did not make that comparison – you did. And now, after doing an act which you yourself described as rape, you are laughing and making cracks about your victim.

You disgust me.

I was going to give Jean-Claude to Oliver. I was going to give the city of Mr. Oliver. I was going to set the Master of the City up for assassination. One more mark and I’d be his forever. No way. I’d see him dead first, even if it meant I died with him. No one forced me into anything, not even eternity.

Gut the bastard and burn his shirts. In front of him before he dies.

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3 thoughts on “A review of Laurell K. Hamilton’s ‘Circus of the Damned’ chapter forty two

  1. ” In fact, I do not like any vampire romantic love interests in any supernatural fiction I have read to this date. I have yet to read of one who does not force his affections upon his chosen love interest or to respect the woman he has chosen (I say woman because let’s face it, all the romances are with women protagonists). I am fed up of it.”

    You too, huh?

    LOL BURN HIS SHIRTS IN FRONT OF HIM

    • I just want a book with supernatural elements to have a relationship that comes naturally of mutual attraction, affection, and a respect for one another – is that too much to ask for?

      • I hear you. It’s something I strive for in my own stories. Even my morally gray character–who has eaten the dead in war zones, as he has all the predatory instincts of a tiger in a human body–treats his partner with the utmost respect, thoughtfulness, and affection, and never forces his desires on him. Because, you know, that’s actually a healthy relationship.

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