Paper Dolls didn't have the same atmosphere as Dollhouse at all. Part of me knew that it probably wasn't going to manage to top Dollhouse for creepiness, but I was also a bit disappointed at how not creepy this book was.
The entire book was back story, or exposition. That's it. It was nice to learn why and how the Dollhouse came to be, and I really enjoyed the bits written from Jessamine's perspective. But it was all a bit bland, especially compared against the first book. There were no creepy visuals. There was no atmosphere or tension building. The entire book takes place in the bright, normal world. (Well, to a point. But that's getting into spoiler territory, there.)
I really felt that the first few chapters of Paper Dolls should have been how Dollhouse ended. The story picks up exactly where Dollhouse ended, and then carries on. Then, only after two or three chapters, the story switches, and we're introduced to the first part of Jessamine's story. It just felt like everything would have worked out a bit smoother if the second book had started off with Jessamine, especially since we're thrown into her story so early on anyway.
I can sort of see why it wouldn't be done that way - the main focus of the book is still Cassie, and starting with Jessamine might confuse new readers. So it makes sense there to start with Cassie, and then transition over to Jessamine. It just could have been done better, is all I'm saying.
I wanted to punch the main characters every step of the way. Everybody was incredibly naive. I was very, VERY tempted to just hunt down that Admiral Ackbar clip, and play it every time the main characters were clearly being tricked by someone. But then I realized that if I did that, I'd have to keep hitting the "replay" button every five minutes or so. It should be illegal to be that gullible.
The way the villains were done surprised me a bit. Going into the first book, I'd assumed the bad guys were vampires or something. Well...they're not vampires. And apparently they've got the Necronomicon. And they're also cultists.
There's a bit of a twist at the end, which leads to a cliffhanger. The twist was kinda neat, I'll admit. Certainly didn't see it coming. Well, part of it. I didn't see part of it coming. And the cliffhanger wasn't so bad, it didn't just cut off the scene like Dollhouse did.
Paper Dolls was an okay book, and would probably stand a lot better on its own than as a sequel. It definitely doesn't hold a candle to Dollhouse.