A quirky group comes together to snark and fight the zombie apocalypse while learning about the disturbing history of their small town.
Plunging with little recap back into the world created in Firewalk (2016), Roberson presents a ragtag group of Recondito, California, citizens who’ve made it through another night of potential doom. Luckily, police officer Patrick Tevake, who lives in a secure part of town, can offer safe harbor to friends and colleagues from the FBI, like Daphne Richardson and Izzie Lefevre, as well as his crush, Recondito Chief Medical Examiner Joyce Nguyen. The crew has only recently become aware that some locals have entered a zombielike state that they’ve termed being “Ridden,” and they know little more. They believe it’s related somehow both to the distribution of Ink, a new street drug, and Parasol, a software company founded by eccentric self-made millionaire Martin Zotovic. It’s hard to figure out how Ink and Parasol are connected when the gang can’t step outside at dark without being chased by the Ridden. Though they think Patrick’s neighborhood is somehow protected by symbols his uncle once painted on area walls, this theory is debunked during a night mission in which the group is attacked by the Ridden, getting away only through the discovery that silver and salt both have repellent powers. Patrick concentrates on restoring the symbols to their former glory in the hope of renewing their protective powers. New couple Izzie and Daphne focus their energy on preparing for the zombie apocalypse, fashioning protective gris-gris bags and trying out weapons designed to keep the Ridden at bay. These are just protective strategies until the group can figure out how to dispense with the Ridden for good.
With a sudden climax leading to what may or may not be an ending of this specific big bad, though not of the world Roberson’s created, the second in this series lacks the background and character development that made the first such a delight.