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"Write out of love, write out of instinct, write out of reason. But always for money."
Louis Untermeyer

Circus of the Damned 

By Laurell K. Hamilton
Ace Books, 1994

As I described in my book review of The Laughing Corpse, I've read the first three books in the Anita Blake series in one hardbound volume, including Circus of the Damned. That's why I haven't included the page header in the sub-heading, as I usually do. 

Now on to business. These Anita Blake novels keep getting better. Laurell Hamilton has created a wonderful character in Blake and a great supporting cast. There are some parallels to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Jean-Claude could be Spike) but there are enough differences to keep the two franchises separate and distinct.

For example, Anita Blake is not blessed with supernatural vampire-like strength the way Buffy is. She kills vampires with silver bullets and knives, and only occasionally uses a stake. She has to rely on her skills and good luck to save the day.

However, if Buffy were not around as a series, I think we would have had at least two Anita Blake movies. With Buffy, even with all the differences, a movie with a female vampire killer is just too similar, which I think is why we haven't seen an Anita Blake movie. It's a shame.

As always, the action is fast and never lets up, although Hamilton could use a few different tactics. I mean, now many times does Anita walk into her apartment only to find someone else there? You'd think she'd move or get a new lock, or something.

Jean-Claude continues to tempt and aggravate her, entreating her to just give in to the lust she feels and become his human servant. She refuses, though something happens that takes her choice away. Don't worry, I won't give it away.

She also helps Dolph and other supernatural cops track down a rogue group of vampires who is murdering people, seemingly at random. The group is led by another master vampire, a Latin hottie named Alejandro. He is much older than Jean-Claude also wants to make Anita his human servant.

We also meet another master vampire, even older than Alejandro, with sinister designs of his own. He orders around a very cool creature called a lamia.

It's a busy book, with a lot happening, but it never drags. Anita zooms from one adventure to the next, all in a matter of days. It's really too bad about Buffy, because these books would make great movies. Maybe someday, long after Buffy goes away (this is the show's final season).

Perhaps Sarah Gellar could play Anita Blake? Wouldn't that be cool.

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