Name: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publication Year: 2014
Number of pages: 310
Price: 299 INR
My rating: 4/5
Let me start off with 5 reasons why you should absolutely read the book –
1) It is an edge of the seat thriller
2) The pace of the book is fast and never slackens
3) There are multiple plots seemingly unconnected happening at different places
4) The plot ties up at the end very well by connecting the various multiple plots like ‘connecting the dots’
5) It has an unusual and surprising twist at the end and asks us the moral question that is on the cover of the book – ‘Is revenge a crime?’. It does set you thinking after you have finished reading the book.
The Storyline –
The story starts off with the assassination of Senator Gillian Tan who is a close friend of the President of the US (POTUS), no less. The President gets the FBI to conduct a discreet investigation into the murder.
Meanwhile, in India, the story moves to three friends. Aditya – the mentor, Sandeep and Swami are his mentees and close friends. Swami is working for an international bank NYIB. Aditya and Sandeep are running a business which provides security and BPO services to NYIB. The duo are also running a gaming business. Other characters include Aditya’s son Varun, his girlfriend Tanya, Swami’s banking boss Malvika, an Indian politician, an illegal immigrant Josh, the FBI agents and Mumbai police.
Swami comes to know of a seemingly simple phishing scam which happens in his bank. He starts investigating the same. This leads to a bitcoins trail. At the same time in the US, the FBI also stumbles upon Bitcoins and try to trace it. The plot gets murkier chapter by chapter. The novel does introduce us to Bitcoins. Bitcoins are virtual currency used in the online world. It doesn’t follow any international boundaries or Government laws. The value of the Bitcoin is based on pure demand and supply. These Bitcoins can be earned by playing virtual games online like Townsville(fictional) which is developed by Aditya’s company. These bitcoins can then be used to purchase illegal products like drugs by keeping an anonymous identity, thus ensuring complete privacy. There are a lot of illegal and unknown things happening in the bitcoins world which is unravelled beautifully in the book.
What worked for me –
1) The fast pace of the plots
2) The characters just happen to be Indian. It could have been a story set anywhere in the world.
3) At different moments in the book, there are seemingly different suspects which keep the elimination of suspects ‘on’ in our minds.
What did not work –
1) Lot of advertising references promoting restaurants, brands of jewellery, phones looks a bit odd in the plot.
2) At some places, there are editorial mistakes. They need to be rectified as it looks unprofessional and breaks the pace
3) The ending is squeezed into some 30 odd pages. After building up the plot very well, the ending is a bit abrupt. Was there any limitations on the page/word count? We would not have minded few additional pages.
Overall verdict –
If you love thrillers, this is a good one. You need not be a banking expert to understand the book. I am not one and I found it simple enough to understand the nuances of banking. Prior to reading this book, I had never read Ravi’s books thinking they will have lot of financial and banking jargons. But after reading this one, I am looking to read more from him. I already have ‘The Bankster’ lined up for reading.
Mr. Ravi Subramanian has definitely set up a high standard for other Indian authors to follow.
Thank you @subramanianravi for such a good book.
Thank you @blogadda for sending me the autographed copy of the book for review.