Review: Second Door to the Right (Paper Souls: Book One)

What would a villain sacrifice to earn his redemption and a happily ever after?

James Crawford, once called Captain Hook, pauses in the London damp, a death warrant heavy in his pocket. Another life to take. The thirty-first since The Guild ripped him from his pages three years ago, promising a life after the crocodile if he obeyed. So easy at first. They only asked him to do what was written into his DNA. But the pointless deaths are beginning to weigh, the secret desire to be more than a pirate turning ink to blood. Yet crossing The Guild means his book will burn, his very existence scattered across the ashes. There is no way out.

Except. The whispered myth of a writer who might have the power to set his paper soul free. It’s a fool’s prayer. One he dares not utter. Not until the day, turning from The Guild, he takes a step and collides into Lily Westfell. A writer. James feels his master, Professor Moriarty, watching the fated meeting. He knows he should walk away and save them both. But this writer: could she be the key to ultimate victory, or the beginning of his final undoing?

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Paper Souls is a twist on the stories we think we know so well

As a writer I couldn’t help but smile at the premise of this book. We often talk about how real our characters seem to us, and how they take on a life of their own…

Well Hyson really pushes that concept and has created a world where characters can be ripped from the pages of their books and pressed into service of The Guild. In the process those characters seem to become so much more than their origins, and poor Lily becomes embroiled in their schemes after a series of chance meetings with Hook.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves modern fairy tales, stories that the take dark turns onto dangerous roads, or those looking for a great plot twists.

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