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Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter) Mass Market Paperback – May 1, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 327 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The third novel of Hamilton's Anita Blake series has the petite necromancer fighting a giant cobra and a rogue vampire, Alejandro, who wants her for his human servant. Anita is still resisting the advances of Jean-Claude, St. Louis's master vampire, but she does need him on her side, if not in her bed. Anita's reluctant involvement in the odd goings-on at the supernatural Circus of the Damned introduces her to Richard, the werewolf of her dreams, and Larry, her powerful but nervous partner in zombie-raising.

Mystery fans will love the tightly plotted, Paretsky-esque action, and horror fans will love just about everything in this unusual series.


An R-rated 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer.' -- New York Review of Science Fiction

The sexiest vampire in the business. -- Jayne Ann Krentz

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Product Details

  • Series: Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace; Reissue edition (May 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441001971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441001972
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (327 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,706,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 30, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Having led off with "Guilty Pleasures" and "The Laughing Corpse," Laurell Hamilton has laid all the necessary groundwork to make this series work. In "Circus of the Damned" she builds on the previous to volumes give a fuller, and more frightening picture of an alternate earth where vampires, werewolves and other monsters are commonplace members of modern society.
While helping the St. Louis Police investigate a pair of human murders carried out by an unknown vampire pack Anita Blake realizes that there is a new master vampire in the city. One that is intent on terrorizing the populace and challenging Jean-Claude as Master of the City. In a series of startling confrontations she finds out there are not one, but two such vampires. The first, Alejandro, was young when the Aztecs were spilling the blood of sacrifices. The other, Mr. Oliver, has roots that extend into time immemorial. Either vampire is powerful enough to challenge Jean-Claude, and neither has any intention of observing the uneasy truce between humans and the undead.
In addition, Anita must deal with a Lamia, weresnakes, out-of-control zombies, and a whole host of vampires that are envious or opposed to her relationship with Jean-Claude. And Jean-Claude himself keeps pressuring her to take the third and fourth marks of the vampire, becoming his human servant. If dealing with all the really bad guys isn't hard enough, Anita has to deal with a new romantic interest, Richard Zeeman and an overly enthusiastic apprentice animator, Lawrence Kirkland. Did I mention Edward the assassin and a very large number of werewolves?
When the conflict between the three masters come to a head, Anita finds that she has become one of the focuses for the battle to come.
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By A Customer on January 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A friend introduced me to the first Anita Blake book, Gulity Pleasures, and I've been hooked ever since. Circus of the Damned, is a wonderful, violent, exciting and a real page turner and a hell of a book
What I really like in this series, is that Anita Blake get's stronger and stronger as a female character. Anita is everything you want in a hero, tough, sexy, and smart. Anita lives in a work of Werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires and zombies.
In this book, Jean-Claude still wants Anita to be his human servent...the problem is that there is another vampire (who is very old and very powerful) who wants Anita for his human servant as well. Anita does the only thing she can...and I won't tell you what what is. If you want to find out what happens, you'll have to read it for yourself. :) I can promise you, you won't be sorry. One would think that 2 master (and powerful) vampires are enough for this book....but Anita has to battle aganist a giant snake!! I can't stress enough how good this book really is.
Laurell K. Hamilton is a wonderful story teller who keeps the reader glued to the book with a wonderful style of action, suspence, humor and horror. Hamilton offers the reader a solid plot with many, many twists. Once you start reading Circus of the Damned, you'll have a hard time putting it down. If you start this book you won't be sorry.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
After her great success in "The Laughing Corpse," one of the finest horror novels I have ever read, Laurell K. Hamilton tries to reach the same heights again in "Circus of the Damned," the third volume in the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series. For the first time the focus is primarily on the vampires, although Anita's job as an Animator has always been more accurate a description than Vampire Hunter. Once again she is the target of every character in the novel: Jean-Claude the Master Vampire of St. Louis wants to put his final two marks on Anita to make her his human servant, but so does Alejandro, an even older vampire who wants to take Jean-Claude's spot. On top of that there are two other master vampires in town this time around: Yasmeen, who simply wants to rip Anita's heart out, and Oliver, who wants to slaughter humans so that this nonsense about vampires having legal rights will come to an end. Meanwhile, over on the human side of the equation, the leaders of Humans First want to take out Anita for not helping them slay the Master, Edward is back wanting the name from Anita so he can do the same thing, Dolph wants her help in tracking down a pack of vampires that are killing humans, Bert wants her to train Larry Kinkaid the college student turned animator, and just to make things really interesting, Richard, the middle-school teacher who hangs out with Jean-Claude at the Circus of the Damned, wants to go out on a date with Anita where they spend the day spelunking.
While we do find out a bit more about Anita's discovery that she is a necromancer and the issue of her being the human servant of a vampire is finally (?) resolved, the conclusion of "Circus of the Damned" is a bit too reminiscent of the climax of the previous Anita Blake novel.
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Format: Hardcover
Laurell K. Hamilton, Circus of the Damned (Berkley, 1995)

This is the third installment of the long-running and wildly popular Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series. Hamilton assures us that the series changes somewhat after this in her afterword. I'm thinking that's a good thing, because at this point, it was starting to get into a rut.

It's mostly the small stuff. It seems that Anita punctuates every piece of sarcasm with "Honestly." or "Really." here-- she did it before, but not, it seemed to me, to the extent she does it here. The cat-and-mouse games with Anita and Jean-Claude have just gotten boring-- there's no real progress, even when there seems to be. It's almost like the characters have no chemistry, despite both of them professing same constantly. Honestly, if this book lacked a plot, I'd have probably given up on the series right here.

But a plot it has. There's a rogue pack of vampires loose in the city, and they're led by a master-- someone who might make a challenge for the leadership of the city, presently in Jean-Claude's hands. To complicate things, Anita meets a vampire whom she suspects of being infinitely older than either of the masters already on her plate. This one has goals that seem to be in line with Anita's-- and the only price he requests for his involvement in the situation is for Anita to hand him Jean-Claude's daytime resting place. Which, it seems, everyone and their mothers wants.

As far as plots go, it's certainly not a bad one. It gets weighted down by the story's soap-opera aspects, but it's readable once Hamilton gets the ball rolling and starts throwing in the actual plot elements. I'm hoping the next one is back up to the standard set by the first two. ***
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