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.

From The Peking Duck:

Lisa has done the impossible: created a taut, breathless thriller that along the way takes the reader on a whirlwind tour through China, the big cities, the smaller cities, the places tourists go and the country’s underbelly. She manages to weave into the narrative an endless stream of details about life in China, what living there actually feels like, such vibrant images you can touch and taste them. In effect, it’s a kind of primer on life in modern-day China, yet it never feels like we’re being lectured or taught…

…Rock Paper Tiger totally rocks in every way. It is so intense and trippy, so full of exotic images and astonishing characters who aren’t what you first believe, I kept thinking, “This is perfect material for a movie.” I hope all of you get to read it, but I hope more than anything that some producer somewhere hears about this thriller on steroids and puts it on the screen where it ultimately belongs.

From Moonrat:

For enthusiasts of books about China, this is a must-read: Ellie’s voice is that of an American living abroad, but she is edgy and unsarcastic, refreshingly without a trace of the condescending travelogue voice we so often expect from foreigner-abroad novels. Brackmann also has a lot to say about the unfortunate confluence of capitalism and political oppression–and her message does not just implicate China. The book is packed with young, creative people, some of whom are fighting for causes, others of whom are just trying to live their lives, but all of whom are at the mercy of the capricious, occasionally violent, and sometimes meaningless whims of the big guys with money.