Circus of the Damned, Laurell K. Hamilton, 1995
My favorite quote: “The serpent must have smiled at Eve like that: pleasant, amused, dangerous.” Followed closely by, “If you came here to call me names, get the hell out of my office. If you have real business, state it, then get the hell out of my office.”
Notable characters: Anita Blake, vampire hunter; Jean-Claude, the master of the city; Richard, a naked guy; Oliver, one of the creepiest peeps you’ll ever meet
Most memorable scene: I’m somewhat reluctant to admit it, but for me, it’s when Naked Richard makes his naked debut and rises naked from the bed. Naked. I don’t know why this moment was so memorable to me. I mean, generally speaking, I’m more interested in the Anitas of this world than the Richards (unless, of course, we’re talking about Jensen Ackles, but that’s a given). Anyway, that’s what I remember most. Probably because it was so unexpected. I was just reading along and BAM! — Naked Richard all up in my face.
Greatest strengths: That’s easy. The action
Standout achievements: I’m most impressed by Laurell K. Hamilton’s ability to work in back story and information from previous books in a smooth, unstilted way, and her talent for that really shines in this one. There are no “As-you-know-Bob,” moments here and as a reader and a writer, I appreciate that. It’s not an easy thing to handle, but Laurel K. Hamilton does it like, well … a pro
Fun Facts: By the time I made it to Circus of the Damned, which is the third in the series, I had insisted that everyone around me read them, as well. And they did. We seriously had a great big huge Anita Blake book club going for a long, long time
Other media: Circus of the Damned, too, is part of the graphic novel series
What it taught me: That the city of Arnold is an actual place. I lived right by it and had no idea. I’ve never been there, but it’s fun when Laurell K. Hamilton mentions places I have been
How it inspired me: I haven’t yet given any of my own characters a naked debut (I don’t think, anyway) but if I do, it will most assuredly be inspired by Naked Richard’s grand entrance. And by grand, of course, I mean, naked
Additional thoughts: While I obviously enjoyed the first two books (I kept going, didn’t I?) I feel like Circus of the Damned is where this series really hits its stride. And hoo boy, what a stride!
Haunt me: alistaircross.com