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Circus of the Damned (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – September 24, 2002
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
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This has to be one of my favorite books in the Anita Blake series. This is where it seems that the shifter world starts getting a more prominent spot in the Anitaverse, which just adds an additional layer of complications, and fun, to the series. It’s also where you first meet Richard, who is totally dreamy and wonderful, at least for now.
This is also where you start noticing that Anita doesn’t have quite the aversion to Jean-Claude as she once had. Some might say that’s a good thing, others a bad. For me personally, I love this change. Can’t get enough of Jean-Claude, in my opinion.
Overall, it’s a great addition the the AB series, and I highly recommend it (though you DO need to read this series in order. Too many characters and backstories that just won’t make sense if you don’t start at the beginning). You got to love a strong, badass female character, that’s not annoying so. Great read!
I like murder and other mysteries and I like some vampire fiction. This book has a lot of what I like from these genres but more than that, it has personal development of the characters which is ever evolving beyond this particular book.
Oh and it turns out that the monsters can be pretty good and they can be pretty terrible. Oh wait a minute- just like humans.
We all know humanity has its monsters as part of its own population. But these monsters are so much more colorful and dramatic and thankfully fictional!
Circus of the Damned returns the focus to vampires and their politics after the voodoo detour of The Laughing Corpse. Jean-Claude, the city's Master Vampire, has given Anita two marks out of four toward becoming his human servant and very much wants her to accept the last two. Her refusal to do so is hurting is position among other vampires in the city. Other masters have come to the city ready to challenge Jean-Claude and try to woo Anita into joining their cause. Anita has to choose where her loyalties lie.
The major strength of this book shows in the action scenes. They take up a significant portion of the book and are uniformly suspenseful, even gripping at times. Anita lives in a very dangerous world and the author does an excellent job of portraying this. The weakest portion of the novel shows up whenever there is a conversation or Anita's narration includes her own thoughts. If Anita is talking to the police, they basically have the same conversation every time they meet at a crime scene. If she speaks to Jean-Claude, she has the same conversation every time. Even her own thoughts take on the exact same form over and over again.
After enjoying Guilty Pleasures (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter), I was disappointed by The Laughing Corpse (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter: Book 2). I was hoping that Circus of the Damned would be a tie breaker of sorts to see if I would keep reading more or not. This is certainly a more entertaining book than The Laughing Corpse and provided a welcome return back to vampires as the chief villains. Unfortunately, Laurell Hamilton's writing style has grown so stale and cliché for me that I don't have the desire to go any further with Anita Blake. These books all read like a poor imitation of Dashiell Hammett and the style never grows or varies in the slightest. I'm glad I bought this book because it ties up all the loose ends from the prior two books, but there's nothing here compelling enough to make me want to keep coming back for more.