This volume is a multi-story, multi-plot collection of characters, all which intertwine around one larger plot of The Sandman. It almost feels like I’ve read a couple of books all around the same time and when I finished this volume I had no option but to just reflect. So much is crammed into this volume that the reader needs time to recover. I usually always need a gap between reading the volumes of Sandman because they are small but mighty, Gaiman concentrates them with characters, settings, adventures and so much action that is in intense but addictive.
I much preferred this volume to the first one; it had many more qualities to it. There wasn’t as much jumping back and forth whereas I felt the first one was fast and unusual in its layout but maybe contributed to it being slightly confusing. Volume 2 was better laid out as Morpheus played a bigger and more defined part as the Dream lord.
While Volume One focused heavily on Morpheus’s return and the search for his talisman’s, Volume Two looks more at those in the world who have escaped the dream realm and have used humans for personal gain or taken the form of humans.
A large aspect of Volume 2 is the relationship between Morpheus and Rose who is a dream vortex who we later find out is half-Endless. There is a big build up to Rose being stopped by Morpheus and she accuses him of using her as a plaything, god-like beings treating mortals as puppets. Ironically, Morpheus was played by Rose’s ability and origin as a half-Endless, even if she appeared ignorant to her power as a dream vortex.
We are also introduced to new members of the god-like Endless, Despair and Desire who are trying to manipulate Dream or Morpheus’s powers. The Volume opens with a story, Tales in the Sand which is a tribal story woven alongside the plot. It tells of a love affair between a mortal and an Endless which attempts to weaken Morpheus however we later learn that this weakness is exploited by Despair and Desire for their own reasons.
Overall this Volume was intriguing and well structured; it had me thinking about it for a few days afterwards. However it isn’t for the light hearted with serial killers, child abuse and the ever-recurring theme of death. I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads as it was very good and is definitely a graphic novel series I want to continue reading, I only expect it to get deeper and more twisted.