From That’s Shanghai:

We confess to a tinge of jealousy: Lisa Brackmann has cracked it – a novel set in today’s China that avoids pretension and keeps the story ripping along rather than stopping to show off the writer’s China cred. And good for her for writing a fast-paced thriller rather than trying to produce a State of China novel weighed down with thematic consequence…We find ourselves on a sort of desperate road trip as Ellie tries to get off the grid and lie low. Very effectively, making the novel increasingly frightening, Brackmann shows us that it simply can’t be done, not when the people chasing you hold all the cards.

From The Japan Times:

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 film “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” in which James Stewart finds himself involved in an assassination plot while in London, and “Frantic,” Roman Polansky’s 1988 film in which Harrison Ford’s wife gets abducted by Paris-based terrorists, stand out as two cinematic thrillers about Americans abroad accidentally ensnared in international intrigues.

Thanks to an original and compelling female protagonist, Lisa Brackman’s “Rock Paper Tiger,” set mostly in China, might make an equally entertaining film in the hands of a skilled director…Brackmann maintains the tension throughout, and we’re given a surrealist peek at China’s subterranean society through the disapproving eyes of a shell-shocked American female war veteran — one who has been badly let down by her own comrades in arms.

From author Alan Russell and the North County Times:

Most first novels read like first novels, but not so for “Rock Paper Tiger.”…

…Brackmann is skillful at giving the reader a strong sense of place. Her locales aren’t those featured in the Beijing Olympics, or the postcard views of the postmodern skyscrapers of Shanghai; Brackmann’s haunts are makeshift cities out in the provinces, old commune buildings and cement block white-tiled jiaozi joints known for their cheap dumplings. The reader doesn’t get to drink the Yanjing Beer (Cooper’s favorite) or Wahaha Water, but we aren’t shortchanged when it comes to sampling the exotic. Cooper might not be in Oz, but she sure isn’t in Kansas, either…

…Throughout the novel, Cooper’s young and world-weary voice ring true. The ending of the book was written with a particularly skilled hand. Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that Cooper found a world she could live in, and even if it isn’t a perfect world, it offers her a sanctuary of sorts as well as a bit of hope.