82 points, 4 ¼ stars
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 shapeshifters, 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 weren’t at stake…
Anita is caught in the middle of an undead turf war; Jean-Claude, the Master Vamp of the city, wants her for his own – but his enemies have other plans.
And to make matters worse, Anita takes a hit to the heart when she meets a stunningly handsome junior high science teacher named Richard Zeeman. They’re two humans caught in the crossfire – or so Anita thinks.
“But we were all young once. It passes, like innocence and a sense of fair play. The only thing left in the end is a good instinct for survival.”
Typically I write reviews for others. Not this time. This will be full of spoilers, both for present and future books. They will be filled with rants and maybe even a little gushing. I don’t want to read these again.
If you have read them before: Enjoy my pain.
If you haven’t: Enjoy my pain.
You have been warned, we’ll see how long I last.
Fuuuuck. So good.
Circus of the Damned is the direct follow-up to the events that happen in Guilty Pleasures. The reckoning. Jean Claude became Master of the City of St. Louis because Anita killed Nikolaos. And she became his human servant at the same time. Now there is a fight for control of the city. There are others that don’t believe Jean Claude has the power to hold the city, and it has leaked onto Anita as she is his human servant.
Most of Circus of the Damned is Anita Blake vs Jean Claude in a battle of wills. Jean Claude needs Anita to at least pretend to be his human servant, so he can get the interlopers to go away. Anita refuses to even do that much, because she is stubborn as fuck. There isn’t much reason other than that, other than Jean Claude forced her into this position, and fuck him.
Which, I mean, she has a point. Except people are dying. And she wants to prevent that?
There are all these vampires throughout the book, and they are all super powerful. And they keep picking on Anita because she is Jean Claude’s human servant, officially. But the biggest thing I can’t get over? Mr. Oliver. Man, the implications on the entire series if Anita’s assertion that he is really a million years old. What the hell does this mean about Marmee Noir, later on? Is she even older than Mr. Oliver? Were they contemporaries? Was he actually older? How did they coexist? What does that mean for vampirism, in this world, if it has lasted for a million years? They can’t go out in daylight! What all has Mr. Oliver seen?
How did one human who doesn’t yet know the extent of her powers and a relative baby vampire manage to defeat this old being?
(The answer is: with a lot of hand-waving and “you just don’t understand, I hobbled his powers because he gave his word!”)
There are a lot of new characters introduced in this book that have a lot of impact on the rest of the series. Especially Richard. Which… gag me. Why did he have to stick around? Full on (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ when he showed up, let me tell you. There is also Stephen, which was a much more happy moment when he showed up. Happy little submissive werewolf.
Plus, there is Larry, the young animator that Anita is forced to train. Who wants to become just like her. And who Anita low-key hates because of how innocent he is compared to her. Which, I can see why this wasn’t a friendship to survive. Anita is so bitchy about how the fact Larry hasn’t lost anyone close to him, and he hasn’t dealt with monsters before, he isn’t suited for the job. This conversation happens sooo many times. It is so annoying and appalling.
Plus, Anita puts him in danger because she is angry at him and because she is impatient. She just lets him talk her into everything, even the most dangerous parts, and it infuriates me because she knows the right course of action and she doesn’t take it. Yet he is a complete and utter newbie at this job and doesn’t even know how to protect himself yet. Fuck this is just awful.
Still though. The book had so much going for it. Mr. Oliver is an awesome addition to the series. The story is so good. I just felt a part of the world.
Too bad Anita is Anita.