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Circus of the Damned

Author: Laurell K. Hamilton
Series: Anita Blake #3
Published: 1995
Review by: CL4 Kaysa

This is the third novel of the Anita Blake series, and it's taken me this long to figure out what the weird titles actually mean. They're all bars orrestaurants usually owned by the "main" bad guy in the novel. It's amazing what you realize when you're bored!

"The Circus of the Damned" is probably my favorite novel of the series so far. The series is about a vampire hunter, so you expect lots and lots of vamps. That almost always isn't the case with the books, they usually have the main bad guy as another kind of monster. Oh sure, you'll have vamps in the book but they might not be the main character or in the main storyline. This book was all about vampires.

There's this huge power struggle for the title of Master of the City between two vampires, Oliver and Alejandro. Oliver is the oldest living vampire in the world, so why would he want to be Master of St. Louis of all places?? Alejandro is another old vampire from the Aztec empire, so he's not as old as Oliver. What I was disappointed with is that if Oliver's the oldest vampire, that means it's very likely he's the original vampire, yet Ms Hamilton doesn't go into detail with the story of creation for vampires. I feel a little gypped because most authors have their own versions of how they came to be. It's sometimes interesting to hear an author's view on how they were created. They're mythical beings so you can basically tell the story any way you like. You don't have to confine your ideas and opinions to anything really and I like that.

Another minor storyline in this book is the fight between Jean-Claude and Alejandro for Anita. They both want her to be their human servant (someone connected to the vampire and will live forever as long as the vampire does, but is still human). Jean-Claude obviously loves and lusts for Anita and that's why he wants her to be his servant, but Alejandro has another purpose. Alejandro knows that Anita is a Necromancer, someone who has a connection with the dead. If he can take Anita as his human servant, he can have control over that power and in turn will make him a very dangerous and feared vampire.

I don't want to go into too much detail, but you can tell that Anita doesn't become Alejandro's servant, it'd ruin the rest of the series and we can't have that, can we?

When reading these books you get pulled into this fictional world and you start to believe that it's real (until you wake up that is!). I know the stories are not really ended in each book, which is a good trick by Ms Hamilton to get you to read the following books.