Circus of the Damned - Laurell K. Hamilton I am really enjoying my rereading of this series. Going back to the beginning of the series has reminded me why I continue to read along even though it has morphed into another beast entirely. These early books were so great because the men and the sex weren’t the focus of the entire freaking plot.

Here Anita is still working as an animator and an assistant to preternatural police force. Anita has a full plate, as usual, after a full night of corpse raising, she’s then hounded by members of “the vamp hater Church or somesuch” to give up the resting place of the Master of the City (Jean Claude), then a body turns up drained by what appears to be a rogue pack of vamps which leads her to The Circus of the Damned and into close proximity with vampire Jean Claude, a sexy vampire she’d rather avoid. He’s been trying to make her his human servant but she stubbornly refuses, even when it means putting her own life in jeopardy. There’s a whole lot of that “Ma petite I have marked you, you are mine” “I kill vampires, I don’t serve them” nonsense going on. She must train an apprentice animator, face down an angry lamia, crazed humans, out of control zombies and deal with a dangerous master vampire. It sounds exhausting but I have to hand it to Hamilton because I was never lost. We’re also introduced to Richard when he was still sweet and sexy and not quite so angry and rigid as he appears in the later novels..

Once again there is way too much focus on clothing (who cares) and the gun descriptions (snore). Personally, I am still not dying to discover what color Anita’s Nike swishes will be every other page and if the match her t shirt. I already know that she is not a girly-girl because it’s mentioned over and over. We all know Jean Claude has a preference for lacy floofy blouses and his own nipples. Do we need to be constantly reminded of this? It’s a little painful to read this stuff the second time around but the quick pacing and intriguing characters carry the book for me and I enjoyed the many plotlines here, none of which focus on sex I might add.

Despite a lame-ass villain and too much arguing from Anita, I enjoyed this as much as the previous two in the series.