The Waking Volume 2, Dreams End opens with a shocking and macabre introduction. A beautiful young woman has survived the zombie outbreak only to discover something much more evil: a survivor with a penchant for murder, mutilation and collecting the reanimated dead. Or so it would at first seem. Shortly after this attention-grabbing sequence, the story shifts to Vanessa Pelagreno, an ex-New York homicide police detective. She used to be hard as nails but even the strongest have fallen into fear from the horrors of the modern world. Despite the fact that zombies are an everyday occurrence, a functioning society and government remains. Vanessa has now moved to the Chicago police department and been partnered up with hotshot cop Dorian Grant. The pair are surprised that they have just been given a brand new homicide case, since murder had become a thing of the past due to the recently departed returning as zombies. This case is more unusual as the missing persons don’t seem to have been reanimated and have disappeared. The cops must now work together to solve the case, before more innocent people are made to suffer.
This book is made up of four single issues, all written by Raven Gregory. The book is written very well and when I read the synopsis I thought, “Oh great, another Zombie book!” However, this one differs from most as the outbreak has not destroyed the human way of life, we have simply adapted and integrated the problem into everyday life. I really enjoyed that angle and it works very well. The characters are balanced and interesting. It’s great to see a strong female lead character and she is believable. Vanessa has problems like any of us and even needs a little help, whether from a bottle of booze or pep talk from a shrink.
As you would expect from any Zenescope title, the artwork featured is of very good quality and slick. The bulk of the art was done by Novo Malgapo working on chapters one to three with chapter four art by Juanan Ramirez and Elias Martins. I wouldn’t have even known there was more than one artist if I hadn’t checked the credits as it’s a seamless transition. The coloring is also good. It’s understated and not too “in your face” which works well with the content.
Although the book is only ninety story pages, there has been so much story squeezed in that it’s a pretty weighty read. The great people from Zenescope have also added almost forty pages of extra content with the single issue covers and previews of other titles. Overall I really enjoyed this title and would recommend it to fans of the horror and crime genre. To see more about this title and more, please visit the Zenescope Website.