Circus of The Damned
Laurell K. Hamilton
Published 2000 329 pages
Reviewed by Sandra
Summary (from the book jacket)
Most women complain that there are no single, straight men left. I'd just like to meet one that's human.
I'm Anita Blake, expert on creatures of the night. I've dined with shape shifters, danced with werewolves, and been wooed-but not won-by Jean-Claude, the Master Vampire of the city.
And now, a darkly dangerous vampire named Alejandro has hit town. He too wants me for his human servant. A war of the undead has begun. Over me.
I would be flattered. If my life wasn't at stake.
Laurell's novels are easy to read, great for break times and late night reading snuggled between the bedcovers. She writes horror in a gripping way and every detail is essential to get across what the characters feel, and in this novel's case it is usually pain. Laurell also slips in a tongue-in-cheek dialogue that serves as a bolster to the heavy, gory horror moments.
In Circus of the Damned it is mentioned that vampires have become a tolerated minority race by most humans and there is even a chance that they will be allowed to vote as their own kind have been accepted into the community. There are those who despise the vampires and any other races that are considered monsters and intend to destroy their kind. Anita has heard about them and is ready for any threat they might cause.
Things get dangerous when Anita is asked to investigate a series of horrific murders all with a gruesome theme that sends shockwaves across the monster community. With Laurell's novels we get a really interesting insight into the crime scene workings and autopsy reports. It's clear to see that she has researched her subject extremely well.
Anita and Jean-Claude's arguments are some of the funniest moments in the entire novel - they just do not see eye-to-eye and he is slighted every time she refuses his affections. She is a fiercely independent woman who will never be owned by anyone, not even a Vampire Master like him of his calibre.
It is very easy to slip into Laurell’s work her characters have that extra dimension of humour that many will enjoy reading. Anita as a character always needs to keep herself in check when around her peers as she never wants to let down the ones that rely on her to get the job done, in short the ones she works with. There are times though like in this story where even though she tries to hide her true feelings, the others notice the looks of fear and trepidation on her face as she is about to take down a vampire foe.
As readers will know from her novels, not all vampires are Anita’s foes. She has an interest in many of the men she meets, but for obvious professional reasons she resists even if she hates herself for it later. There is one man in later novels she finds it harder to resist than with most and even he would like it if he had a relationship with her. Anita plays hard to get. And who can blame her when she is surrounded by the un dead in their many forms.
Either way, readers will like the complex plot and the way Anita responds to each of the characters, still maintaining her dignity and being able to keep the secrets she holds deep inside her.
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