Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.

Rock Paper Tiger

Rock Paper Tiger - Lisa Brackmann I've been meaning to read Lisa Brackmann's Rock Paper Tiger since first reading about it on Nathan Bransford's blog (Brackmann's former agent). I kept putting it off (to be honest, while I liked the premise, there was something about the cover I just didn't like and it kept falling by the wayside in my TBR pile. I finally started reading last night, read until my eyes started closing, and grabbed it again and read for another hour or so when up with a restless child. I was beyond frustrated having to run errands today because I wanted to sit down and finish. It's been ages since I just blew through a book that quickly, but I felt like I had to finish; I needed to know what happened.The protagonist, Ellie, is living in China, possibly illegally, although I wasn't exactly sure what her status was. What I did know was she was a veteran of the War on Terror, had witnessed some probably criminal activity when she was in the war, and was currently estranged from her husband, who was also living in China. The beginning of the novel does such an amazing job of describing Ellie's ship-without-a-rudder existence that you feel the disconnection. She occasionally sleeps with an artist. She works part time at a bar when she decides to show up. She baits her estranged husband. When she meets a "friend of her friend" when she shows up at the friend-with-benefits artist's apartment, she's suddenly sucked into a world where she (and the reader) have no idea what side anyone is on. She's being followed, possibly by more than one government agency from the U.S. and or the Chinese governments. People move in and out of her life and you aren't sure what ulterior motives they may have. And there's an online game that may or may not be her link to the artist, who has disappeared.As Ellie moves from place to place in China (and flashes back to her time in the Middle East), we learn about what happened to her, how she and her husband ended up estranged, and get more pieces of the puzzle. You may think you know what side everyone is on, but you may be surprised at some of them.Possible spoilerThe ending is bittersweet, and leaves almost as many questions as there are answers. I read on my iPad, and kept flicking the last page to the left, hoping there was more somewhere. It's a testament to how involved you'll be in the story and the lives of the characters that you want to know everything that might happen next.

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