Circus of the Damned – Recap!
Posted July 1, 2008on:
I am Recapper ChocolateTort, and I have signed on to recap the Anita Blake series. I’ve only actually read four of them, so at some point they’ll just be caps, I guess. I was too excited to wait for the library to get the first Anita Blake novel back, so I started with Number Three. But you don’t need much backstory to recall the relevant points:
*Anita Blake is smokin hot but doesn’t like to talk about it.
*Jean-Claude is Large and In Charge, has nipples of steel, and wishes to have loads of hot but meaningful vampire sex with Anita. For now, she is having no part of this.
*Anita is a zombie raiser and vampire executioner and COULD be a necromancer, but she’s too good for that.
*Anita has a Painful Past.
*Did I mention smokin hot but too good to rub it in our faces TOO often?
Excellent. One more thing: I’ve received some staggeringly good advice to break these up into two parts, so I can focus more on mocking some of the very silly bits of prose that won’t fit into one big recap. Future recaps shall be in this format.
Nipples ho! Our story begins… with Anita filthy and drinking from a mug whose personalized motto she thinks is clever: Piss me off, pay the consequences. Yuk yuk yuk. This is our dear author reminding you she’s a firebrand, in case you forgot. She’s in a meeting with Messrs. Jeremy “Angry Midget” Ruebens and Karl “Giant Redhead” Inger. Anita is hostile, Angry Midget is demanding, and Giant Redhead is placating. They’ve created a delightful little organization which aims to violently rid the human population of its vampire trouble and want Anita to tell them the Master’s (Jean-Claude’s) resting place.
Once, Anita would have been happy to tell them, if she in fact knew, but now she’s not so sure. This is a reminder that she has recently had Entanglements with Jean-Claude. Angry Midget leaves on a threatening note, and in showing us her gun, Anita also tells us she’s wearing a royal purple skirt suit with a thin black belt. And so the description diarrhea begins. Angry Midget hisses that she is an abomination before God; doubtless he’s talking about her suit, and I would have to agree.
There’s a hilarious dated reference to the crappy quality of car phones. Her banter with Detective Sergeant Rudolf Storr, “Dolph”, falls flatter than Kate Moss’s underwire. Upon arriving at the scene, she lusts after the pallid corpse and goes CSI on his finely sculpted ass. Beads of mist collect in Anita’s hair like silver pearls. Anita exchanges more dull banter with Zerbowski, another cop, who is currently wearing train pajamas. Anita hints at Dolph’s Mysterious Past.
Apparently, five thirty is “hours” till dawn. I am skeptical. Zerbowski is twelve, and Anita finds this amusing. Dolph, on the other hand, seems nearly as sick of him as I am. Anita reminds us that Jean-Claude has the hots for her. Zerb engages in some more banter with Anita, which is both boring and slightly disgusting. The guy died of multiple vampire bites, which means something unpleasant.
Chapter three opens with Anita waxing poetic about October, and my eyes glaze over. She thinks that JC is the only vampire she’s met who isn’t crazy, but considering his hots for her, I beg to differ. On the other hand, I love the Church of Eternal Life. It’s the eternal life of regular church, minus the inconvenient moral constraints. And the holy water. Anita wonders what happens when vampires get hit by a bus, and here, I’m with her. The physics of vampires are fascinating. Anita begs us readers not to tell anyone that she can raise zombies in deep snow. Well, all right, but only if you promise to drown me in the kind of prose that would leave mediocre Romantic poets weeping with envy.
Anita references her recent zombie shoot-out, hates on small dogs, and gives us more info about her pet fish than I really cared to know. She then has words with her boss, who for some bizarre reason finds her cancelling on five clients with about twelve hours’ notice a little annoying. Jerk. She calls JC and has an orgasm listening to his answering machine but angsts about how he’s left two marks on her and lusts after her SOUL as well as her luscious bod.
She wakes from a dream wherein she is almost raped by tentacles to the voice of Willie the Undead, who says things like “ta” for “to” and “ya” for “you”. He’s got street cred, does Willie. Upon rising, Anita talks about her hair, the “frothing mass of waves” for two paragraphs, then her clothes for three more.
She goes to Circus of the Damned, JC’s happening nightclub, and moralizes. Families apparently go to this club, which seems hella creepy to me. JC’s hot Aryan servant, Stephen, leads Anita inside, and she stares at his ass, then realizes he’s a shapeshifting werewolf. He calls her a feminist, and she doesn’t bother to correct him (readers of the epilogues knows that Hamilton is a humanist, not a feminist. This means she doesn’t hate men and does shave her legs, but thinks it’s okay for women to wear pants). Stephen cries when she calls him “fur face”. I’m pretty sure that’s racist, Anita. She ogles a giant cobra.
In the next room, she leers at JC, who is dripping lace, and thus begins this installment of “take a drink every time you see the words ‘nipples’ or ‘ma petite’”. The boys can smell Anita’s desire, but might just be the extreme slutitude of the vampire standing behind her, who’s wearing red spandex shorts and red heels. What the hell? The Great Red Slut, Yasmeen, is in lust with Anita, which is a pretty common affliction in the St. Louis paranormal community.
Great Red Slut rubs her nipples against Anita’s gun, and I take a very large drink. Then she makes out with Anita, which enrages her human servant. Apparently, Anita challenged human servant Margeurite to a duel, simply by being irresistible. JC calls Anita “ma petite” four times in the space of two pages. Four drinkies for me! There was another dude on the bed, who’s also sculpted and hot. He’s lacking ridiculous clothing, so we can assume he’s human.
Chick fight. Three more drinks. There’s yet another person in the bed, a hot naked woman. Another chick fight, this time with hot naked woman, who is suddenly and randomly enraged. Great Red Slut moves in to molest Anita, but our heroine’s cross catches fire. Two more drinks. But no more deep conversation with JC, for the giant snake out front has gone mad! The crowd flees, and Anita faces the snake in company with the Sexy (Non)People. Anita feels JC’s touch inside her where no hand was ever meant to go. No, I am not going to go there. It’s convenient that Hamilton italicizes “ma petite”; it makes it easier to count my drinks. Five more.
The Sexy People go after the snake. Anita limps to the sidelines after emptying her clip at it, and someone gets stabbed by a fang. She lusts after hot naked bed man, who’s named Richard Zeeman. One of JC’s nipples is hard. How does that work? The cops show up, so everyone is dragged to the police station. Anita is bored, so she lusts after Richard some more. Geez, woman, go get laid already. Richard is a local science teacher! How cute. Four more drinks, and JC is jealous of the sexy Richie. Make that six.
JC’s eyelashes look like black lace. Dude, what? He references one of the first two novels, in which vampire Nikolaos tried to kill Anita. I sympathize. Anita has another orgasm remembering her kiss with JC some time ago, but it’s an angry orgasm. Angasm, if you will. Her nipples are hard, and her stomach is clenched with need. Eight more drinks. She questions JC about the vampire murder, and we rack up three more drinks. Richie flirts with Anita, who lusts some more, whilst asking for a ride home and carrying the unconscious Stephen. On the ride home, Anita lusts and Richie flirts, blah blah. Anita angsts over Philip, victim of a previous novel, and about her Painful Past. Richie asks her out; Anita lusts and agrees and lusts some more. Sadly, she does not jump his bones then and there.
A dude is waiting at Anita’s apartment. It’s Edward, whom I vaguely remember as an endearingly sociopathic killer of paranormal beings and sort-of friend of Anita. Like many sociopaths, his has his personal code of honor, which means he can kill innocents without blinking but won’t shoot Anita in the back. Dammit. She puts on man’s lilac shirt she happens to have in her closet. No lace, so it’s probably not JC’s. Eddie reveals he was sent to kill the Master of the City, which was Nikki but is now JC. Oh noes! She lies to protect Lace Boy, and Eddie threatens to mess her up if she doesn’t tell him who the Master is by that night.
Anita has a JC sex dream, in which his nipples are prominently present. She awakes and describes her sexy work-out clothes, down to the red stripe on her socks. Dolph calls with the corpse’s identity. But I must grudgingly admit that Anita is bang-on about the hip abduction/adduction machine; it really does look like a gyno torture device. Anita describes her and friend Ronnie’s hot bods. She divulges police business to Ronnie, who says she knows the victim. Gasp! He belonged to Angry Midget’s and Giant Redhead’s anti-vamp group. Ronnie mentions friend Catherine’s Halloween party, and I foresee more ungodly clothing description in my future. Ronnie promises to find Anita a sexy outfit. Sigh.
Anita asks Richie to the party, and she tells him what her size is: seven, because she’s too “chesty” for a six. Riche says, “(sob)”. How do you talk in parentheses? Dolph has another victim for her to CSI. More banter. Dolph groans, as do I. She calls Richie right back, who promises to get her a costume from his nerdy Civil War re-enactor friend. I say “nerdy”, but I secretly think it’s kinda cool.
Anita goes out to see the victim, waxes poetic about sunset, and moralizes about autopsies. It’s a pretty blonde, who died as violently as the first corpse. She briefly lusts after this one, too. Bet she’s gonna rise as a vamp. I giggle at Anita’s subscription to “Vampire Quarterly” because my favorite vampire-slaying heroine gets “Professional Bakers Quarterly. Anita has a revelation, that the first victim is going to rise as a beastial vamp, and tells Dolph to warn the folks at the morgue. She gets a call from her boss, who has hired fresh young talent to keep up with the appointments she keeps missing for this pathetic banter.
I like that in the Anita!verse, people can put in their wills that they want to be staked if they incur any vampire bites. Also, silver is apparently more expensive than gold – more useful, I guess. And as of lately, you can’t carry around vampire-killing stuff without an order of execution. But you can still carry around knives and shit. I am skeptical. And I amused at the “vampire counselor” who hangs out at the vampire room at the morgue. I like the idea of decent, law-abiding vampires, like a bunch of Angels or something, minus the souls and hair gel. And you know there were Mengele wannabes who tried to find a cure for vampirism, back in the day.
Anita waxes morbidly poetic about the morgue as they go in to confront the animalistic vampire she fears has arisen. She hates it when she plays hero, but that darned ol complex of hers just won’t let her sit on the sidelines. Gosh golly gee whiz. She keeps addressing the reader and throwing around sentence fragments which I guess are supposed to be cool or edgy or something. “Blood splashed the green walls like a macabre Christmas card”. Uh oh. And now everyone’s puking their guts out. Lovely. A redshirt dies. Anita recounts an attempt at dating her coworker, which ended quickly because she isn’t his idea of a lady. He wishes she matched her packaging – the one that would be a perfect Wakefield size six except for her voluptuous bosoms.
Now she’s off to a zombie raising, and I have to say, all this demon/zombie law stuff is kinda interesting. I know, nerd. Rookie animator bit off more zombie than he could chew (gross), and Anita steps in to save the day! Rookie animator Larry is a cute redhead, over whom Anita lusts a bit, to pass the time while lawyers grill the zombie. The two of them moralize about being short and about fighting in school, yawn, and she privately moralizes about shiny happy 20 year olds. There’s some weird, mixed-up children’s story metaphor that I don’t understand.
Rookie Larry and Anita head back to the car, only to be accosted by folks with guns, one of whom Anita shoots. They peel outta there, and who should they see in the middle of the road but Angry Midget, of the threats. Anita remembers a stupid platitude of Grandma Blake, and Larry is traumatized by the run-in. They hit a little kid, who turns out to be a vampire and threatens Anita with a knife. What a funny mental image that is. Another vampire appears, and then Anita is tackled by a vampire she describes as “ethnic”, who we later find out is named “Alejandro”. Ethnic indeed. There may be another lady vampire here, I’m not really sure. Ethnic Alex calls them off, but Anita does something stupid to piss them off, and she and Larry jump into the car. They hit another vampire, who reaches through the broken window to snag Rookie Larry. I love that mental image, probably because I am a bad person. Larry gets yanked out of the car by Ethnic Alex, who threatens to kill him, and Anita threatens back. Threat threat threat. She gives up her gun to save Rookie Larry, who’s bleeding profusely, a result of being pulled through a shattered windshield.
This scene is spanning several very short chapters, and I’m getting bored. Larry’s blood flows like Jello. Ethnic Alex releases Larry and demands to know who Anita’s Master is. Ho ho ho, that’s a sore point. Anita debates telling Ethnic Alex but decides against it… for purely practical reasons, of course. Nothing to do with those nipples of his. Lady vampire rushes her, and Ethnic Alex is wounded by a silly line of dialogue. Then he rushes her, and she racks him something fierce. That’s actually funny! He tries to scare her, she refuses to give up JC, and she passes out, gazing into his black ethnic eyes.
She wakes up to find Larry tending her and cops all around – and Angry Midget and Giant Redhead! Angry Midget claims he saved Anita. He flashes tiny Jewish Torahs, which is an adorable thought. They sorta make up, and she lies to the cops. After a hospital visit, Larry drives and confesses his desire to be a vampire slayer like Buffy Anita. Anita shows off her scars to scare him off, but he won’t be scared off. If he’s so determined, well golly gee whiz, she’ll have to be the one to teach him the ropes because she doesn’t trust her slaying coworker. Anita thinks, “Naw” for the first time I can remember in this novel, and I remember how much it annoys me. She thinks he’s adorably insane, just like she was at that age. Insane, perhaps.
Eddie’s there when she gets back, and I feel sorry for her, escaping Certain Death Or Worse, getting home at 3:30 am, only to face more Certain Death. He tells her to spread it, but for once, she doesn’t lust. Once again, “his eyes [are] as empty and dead as winter’s sky.” I swear she said the exact same thing last time she saw him. He demands to know the Master’s name, and she is being difficult. Eddie says he can’t torture Anita when she’s being funny like this, and I groan. That’s not funny. That’s annoying. She tells him that Ethnic Alex is the Master of the City, sneaky thing.
She has a sex dream about JC, who’s wearing a shitload of lace – but he carries it off, Anita assures it. I am skeptical. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken a drink, so this chapter is perfect timing. Sadly, it’s a short dream, so I only get one. It’s a reporter whom we vaguely know from past novels, Irving. Apparently “rebuttal” is a fancy word in her book, and she implies he’s gay for having an English major. He has Business with JC, which I assume has something to do with nipples. Then Giant Redhead calls and wants her to meet someone who has a plan to take out Ethnic Alex. There’s a lot of really pointless dialogue here.
She waxes poetic about ol’ Rock Creek road, and I skim past paragraphs to the next page. More waxing poetic on the house. Mr. Oliver is another midget with no chin and a well-tailored suit. She immediately thinks of him as a favorite and trusted uncle, and he has a voice like cream in coffee (what?). But, what a twist! He’s a vampire! A tiny, charming vampire! This says something about Anita’s family which I will not analyze.
Her power crawls along his skin, which sounds like necromancer foreplay to me. Oh, except Anita reminds us that she could be a necromancer, but her shiny fuzzy virtue will not allow it. He hasn’t met a human in centuries who can rival her. Aw shucks, mister. Mr. Oliver wants to know the Master’s resting place too! Clearly there’s some sort of reality game show going on her; maybe the winner gets a million dollars and a date with someone who doesn’t wax poetic at the drop of a hat (I bet she really would).
Anyway, Midget Vampire misses the Good Old Days, when men were men and women were women and humans hunted vampires to the ends of the earth. He doesn’t like the vampire Church, which shows he has no sense of humor; this makes sense, as we discover in the next sentence that he’s one of the oldest vampires alive. I bet he yells at the younger vamps to stay off his lawn, too. Damn kids, with their blood orgies and spandex biker shorts. Anita says she’ll keep his offer in mind; what, a vampire gets JC’s name but not her old friend Eddie? I’m pretty sure that’s racist, Anita. We get a hilariously ludicrous bit about how Anita recognizes Oliver’s face from a skull she once saw in an anthropology class. I can barely recognize people from their facebook pictures, and she recognizes him from a skull? Anyway, this makes him over a million years old! Gasp!
A sexy lady comes out of nowhere, toenails polished and make up perfect. You know the boring people in Anita Blake because they’re ugly. She’s not a vampire, but she has retractable fangs to show off. Her name is Melanie, and she’s a lamia. Hi Melanie! We learn that Oliver can call snakes. I’m sure this will in no way be an important point later.
Back home, Anita rushes in just in time to catch friend Ronnie’s call. Both the vampire victims Anita’s been called on have had those will provisions where you get staked if you’re vampire bit. A pattern! After changing, Anita strolls into work. And now I arrive at my favorite part of the series, wherein Anita tells us she just has to wear make-up when she wears red, otherwise she gets, like, totally washed out! I think this is a “finish the bottle” moment in the drinking game. It doesn’t come often, but it’s a staple of the series.
Larry’s there in Bossman’s office, and she emphasizes what a failure he was last night. Anita reminisces that at twenty years old, she was infinitely wiser than Larry at twenty because of her Painful Past. There’s a buttload of pointless dialogue here, and I skim skim skim. The police call to confirm the identity of the dead woman. Anita recommends blackmail, and Dolph says she’s clever. We find out that Anita’s twenty four, and for some reason, I am highly amused at this. I’m sure I know twenty four year olds who are this full of themselves, but I’m glad I don’t know that I know which ones they are.
The next scene opens after a long night of zombie raising, with Anita incompetently quoting Dr. Seuss at us. She gets a page, fears it’s another body, but it’s just Reporter Irving. I guess he is a body, in a way. He says JC wants to see her and reminds us that he’s a werewolf. Apparently JC’s animal is the wolf; I wonder if this has anything to do with the Chinese horoscopes and the year one is turned. Larry is excited to meet JC, probably because Anita’s told him all about his nipples and lacy eyelashes. Larry mentions that vampire guest speakers came to his vampire studies classes in undergrad, which cracks me up. I bet those guys come from the vampire church.
As they walk through Circus, she quotes some poetry. Appropriate, I suppose, considering her penchant for drippy description. Sexy Richie meets them, and she goes on about how his shirt would be too long on her. This equals planning to wear this shirt, which equals lusting. Irving waxes angsty about being JC’s animal, and Anita says she doesn’t have any right to get mad at him. This is a pet peeve of mine, people talking about having “no right”, especially to an emotional state. WTF? Larry wants to meet JC, but Irving said gee whiz gosh darn it, Anita was right when she tried to keep me ignorant about the Master. So you should be happy with her condescension too! Ignore what she was just saying about how he has to learn about vampires from experience.
We step into JC’s room, and Anita just can’t help giving us the grand tour, down to the colors of the coffee table. JC is wearing a sheer dress shirt, which show the burn Anita inflicted upon him at some point (and I think we all know what else). Anita is sneaky and tells JC she wishes to meet the master but doesn’t want Rookie Larry to meet him, as this is dangerous information. JC leads Anita off into a dark room, and finally, I get to take three… six… eight drinks total during this scene. He tells her that Ethnic Alex marked her, which should be impossible. That’s our Anita. He makes out with her under the pretense of checking out this mark business, and she lusts as she prepares to poke one of his eyes out. He asks her to take the third mark, and she shockingly refuses. Yawn.
She storms out, only to find an orgy in the next room, including a weird, gelatinous pile of living flesh. These vampires are imaginative. Anita fires a warning shot, and JC comes in and demands to know what’s going on. Reporter Irving emerges from the pile of goo in werewolf form. JC tells Great Red Slut to cool it, but she’s determined to hurt Rookie Larry. Turns out she’s jostling for position of Master of the City. Somehow, the situation gets diffused, and Sexy Richie escorts Anita and Rookie Larry out.
Anita advises Richie to get outta the vampire scene, but he figures he can be just as stupid about that as she is. She goes on about her haircut for a couple sentences and then reminds us that her costume party is tonight. Spare me. Rookie Larry whines to leave and asks how Anita can be so casual after that. Duh, Larry, it’s because she’s ANITA BLAKE and is too good for things like PTSD. Larry spills his guts about his determination to be a vampire slayer – a smidge of his own Painful Past there. Clearly in a generous mood, she considers that his reasons might actually be as good as her own.
As usual, someone’s waiting to harass her at her apartment. It’s Oliver’s lamia and her harem, and lamia informs Anita that Oliver wants to see her. Anita agrees and says something the lamia says is “very good”. I promise, it’s not. Lamia reminds us that her name is Melanie, which I totally forgot. Melamia offers her extra beaux for Anita to make out with on the way, and it seems odd that someone who says “shall” and “precious few gentlemen” and “special beau” also says “make out”. Anita says she doesn’t kiss on the first date, and Melamia finds this just riotous. I don’t get it.
Blah blah, they’re some some roads, and Anita gives us the rundown of every single building in St. Charles. Granted, there aren’t too many, but there’s something to be said to leaving some details to the reader’s imagination. Anita’s feeling sleepy, and if Melamia’s companions are make-out-able, surely they’re nap-on-able. But either she doesn’t think of this or is too good to sleep on enchanted men. Melamia leads Anita to a cave, and it turns out Oliver is not there, but our good friend Ethnic Alex is! He offered to release Melamia from Oliver for her sudden but inevitable betrayal, and now he wants Anita to take a second mark from him.
She shoots and runs for the open land, chased by the shapeshifting Melamia. She reveals to us that she’s ambidextrous with her weapons. One of Melamia’s boys is looking for her, and Anita slits his throat. She makes a bizarre observation about how the ability of modern guns to function underwater makes terrorism so easy. What? Another drink, this time for Melamia’s red nipples. Anita fires a few shots at Melamia, to no avail, and takes off running again. Ethnic Alex sends some freaky wind after her, and Melamia’s snake-y mate rears up out of nowhere. Ethnic Alex tells Anita not to hurt the mate, via his freaky wind, but Anita’s intent on not dying at the hands of a snake-man. For once, I sympathize. Male lamia bites her, Anita stabs him in the eye, and then everyone catches up and is pissed.
Anita dashes off again, and Ethnic Alex follows her up into a clearing. He catches on fire, and I wonder how someone could survive so long being so dumb. Melamia is very determined to kill Anita now – she was only sort of determined before – but Anita is rescued by Eddie the sociopath! What a twist! Eddie was tracking her but lost her in the woods, and I lose a little of my respect for him.
Back at her apartment, Anita is all shiny and clean, and Eddie apparently waited for her to shower and stuff. Now that she’s given him the fake name of the Master, he’s all sweetness and light. Comparisons between Eddie’s eyes and winter skies is officially another moment to drink, and we have one here. She riffles through her closet when Sexy Richie pops over and gives up a glimpse of a sexy teddy she owns, but instead, she goes with a bath robe. Eddie is being smug and amused. She lusts after Richie and then thinks that Richie must definitely be lusting after her because, “[t]he fact that I looked great in black had not escaped my notice.” Naturally.
Richie seems shocked that she almost died today; I’m pretty sure she almost dies every chapter, Richie. He is outraged that she endangered herself, as if he isn’t hanging out with vampires. Now he’s wondering how she can sit there like everything’s okay. Yes, we all know that Anita has stunning self-control. Eddie gives her his number in front of Richie, which is kinda funny. She lusts after Richie some more and then thinks that instant lust is uncommon for her. What book is she reading?
The lamia bite catches up with her, and she pukes blood on her white carpet. She has another sex dream with JC. Two drinks for “ma petite” and another for JC’s nipples. She lusts after his treasure trail. He assaults her, as is the vampire way, and demands a kiss as the price of releasing her from his wicked grasp. She refuses, and hilariously enough wakes up in a room just as ridiculously decorated as the one in her dream. Another drink, and we found out Richie brought her to JC for healing, which he accomplished by means of giving Anita the dreaded third mark. Anita’s pissy that Richie dared to save her life. Two more drinks. Anita angsts about the third mark, and she’s so mad that she thinks about giving JC to Oliver.
We next see her trussed up antebellum-style, and she’s bitching at Richie over this third mark business. During the healing/marking ritual, Richie worried about JC raping her and says JC really thinks Anita will learn to love him one day. Judging by what I hear about the latter books, I think he wins this round. They skip on the party, which leaves me wondering why the hell she wearing the dress. According to Richie, “Besides, I’m freezing my butt off,” counts around here as “having a way with words”. Larry’s waiting at Anita’s apartment for some zombie raising, and she changes into a pumpkin sweater to go to work. But before she starts raising the dead, she calls Giant Redhead, who fetches Oliver – and she tells Oliver that JC is the Master! Gasp! Oliver tells her she is a remarkable person. Oh, get in line, Ollie. Anita tattles on Melamia, tells Ollie about Circus of the Damned, and hangs up.
Between raisings, the cop call Anita. Dolph reveals that Ollie has a scheme to rouse vampires to Kill All Humans this Halloween night, and Anita is horrified. She calls up JC to warn him that Ollie is after him, and I get to take another two drinks. JC is hilariously shocked that Anita actually betrayed him… because all that stuff about her swearing never to belong to him was just necromancer foreplay, obviously. Anita calls up Eddie and offers him a fight with two master vampires. Sociopath that he is, this sounds like Christmas morning.
Eddie shows up at Circus dressed as Death and hauling half an armory along with him. One of the Sexy People at the Great Snake Hunt meets Anita out front. Eddie follows, “silent as his namesake”. Is there some really quiet dude named Edward I don’t know about? Anyway, JC reveals that he and Ollie agreed to confine their big fight to the Circus show tent, and I get to take three drinks. Someone thought it was a good idea to do this in front of an audience that we know has children in it. Children and, you know, the majority of the sane population who would incur some major trauma seeing people die. Anita convinces Rookie Larry to stay outside the ring. JC is not wearing a sheer shirt this time, so no mention of his nipples. All the Sexy People are wearing costumes, and I scan past paragraphs about silk and lace and an awful lot of red. Great Red Slut calls Anita “ma petite”, which I’m pretty sure counts for purposes of drinkies.
JC restates how shocked – shocked! – he is at Anita’s betrayal and idly speculates about giving her the fourth mark. This guy is dumber than I remember. He tells the audience that Sexy NonPeople are going to fight for the soul of the city, and Ollie shows up as a sad clown. That’s funny. Melamia is curled around him and topless. Is this a PG-rated show? Ollie informs the audience members that death comes to all humans. Gee, I’m shaking. He says that dying at the hand of a topless snake lady is actually a lot of fun, and I take a drink to block the tentacle images in my head. Some of the Sexy NonPeople change into werewolves, and the audience hoots and hollers at the sight. More drinks as Anita sorta apologizes for sending JC to his death.
One of Ollie’s allies is a thing with a lady body but a snake head. Weird. Anita stabs it, and it bites her. Vampires and human servants are tussling. Ethnic Alex offers to step out if Anita takes his final two marks; clearly, he’s not keeping up. Eddie throws around some machine gun fire and some flamethrower. Another drink for the most improbable use of “nipple” in the middle of a battle scene, as Ethnic Alex tries to give her another mark. But Ethnic Alex’s real plan was to weaken JC by marking Anita! Ollie is bitchslapping JC from a distance, and Giant Redhead lays our favorite Lace Boy over the altar on stage. Richie gets pissed, but Ollie tears his throat out. I only wish it would take.
Anita takes a stand by refusing to stake JC. Little late for that, princess. Ollie slaps her for being uppity, but naturally, she’s too powerful to be bent to Ethnic Alex’s will. Anita agrees that she cares for him, which is a stretch from what we heard a few pages ago. It’s the rest of the city she cared about then. Guess she’s getting sentimental for his nipples. Just as Ollie is handing her the mallet to hammer in the stake, she stakes him. Oh snap! She tears him to pieces, and Giant Redhead, as his human servant, is dead too. She tears out Ethnic Alex’s heart… because she’s always had the ability to reach through flesh and bone to internal organs. Might have come in handy earlier if she’d realized it earlier.
She wakes up in a hospital, surrounded by balloons and flowers. Richie is alive to continue to wreak havoc on her libido and reveals that he’s a werewolf. Anita insists that she’s too clever to have missed that one, but this time she’s wrong. She speculates that JC is sabotaging her proto-relationship with Richie, to which I reply, “YA THINK?!”. Richie is next in line for pack leader, congrats. The cops didn’t find anything because the audience was magically confuddled. But the best news is that Ethnic Alex’s marks cancelled out JC’s. Instead of doing a little jig, Anita feels empty inside. You’ve been bitching all book, and you just feel empty when you’re free? Bad show, Anita.
Anita’s been out for a week. She laughs at Richie for having become a werewolf as the result of a bad vaccine. Instead of slapping her, as some of us might have been tempted to do, he joins in. JC sends roses and hopes she’ll stop by for coffee sometime. Instead, she tosses the roses. Melamia is working at the Circus. Anita and Richie go on their date and make out. JC keeps sending gifts.
And then, um, it ends. I know. I am wracked with suspense as well.