- Title – God is a Gamer
- Author – Ravi Subramanian
- Publisher – Penguin Books India
- Genre – Thriller (Fiction)
- Pages – 310
- ISBN – 978-93-5106-461-9
- Price – 150 INR
Synopsis – God is a Gamer is an interesting story which takes the reader from the by-lanes of Mumbai to the beaches of Goa, to the imposing buildings in Washington to the financial capital of New York. A story which takes the reader to places unknown, not seen by anybody, but experienced by many – the dark web. The underbelly of the internet. And in the midst of all this, is a tale of human emotions. A father whose son returns, a politician who wears his heart on his sleeve, a bank CEO who has a secret to protect. Caught in this quagmire is an old time banker whose gaming company is going down the tube, a couple in their twenties trying to find love, and a FBI agent who is trying to drown himself in work to forget his family. Things get a bit heated up when people get killed.
Woven across all these stories is the story of Bitcoins, the virtual currency which has taken the world by storm. If some bits and pieces of this book leave you in awe, horrified that such things do happen, rest assured, most of the jaw dropping moments in this book have been inspired by real life events.
Review – The book has an impressive cover capturing the essence of the plot with shades highlighting the thriller genre perfectly. I particularly loved the use of gold in the title that adds to the impact of the well-thought title. The apt title and the beautiful cover succeed in matching the brilliance of the plot.
God is a Gamer is divided into 99 short chapters, partitioned by the location of the events. The book starts with an introduction to the many characters leading diverse lives, hailing from different corners of the world. At first, I had to turn back pages to recollect who was who, given the many characters joining the past paced narrative right from onset.
Nevertheless, the author has successfully managed to start the book on top gear managing to keep the momentum till you hit the back cover. Yes, the book leaves you craving for more that you actually wish the book never ends.
I could feel the adrenaline rush in the lucid narration spun in rich vocabulary, with not even a single dull moment in the book. The pinnacle of this thriller ride is, you won’t want to stop till you reach the end, not even to grab a bite. The tight plot kept me from indulging into turning the pages quickly because reading every chapter was both a joy and a learning experience.
Even though the plot is fictional, the author has shared vital information on many aspects of the virtual world. It made me ponder, how foolish we are, thinking that being anonymous on the web, we are safe. In fact, we are all nude inside out.
I wish to congratulate Ravi on the impact of the extensive research done for the book. Particularly the Bitcoins and bringing to life scenes from different parts of the world through a visually rich narrative. The book almost has a double climax, turning tables more than once. I liked the clever use of rings, more than mere ornaments in the plot.
The FBI investigation was the high point of this thriller plot. I believe, if ever a movie (preferably Hollywood) is made out of this book, it’ll be worth an Oscar nomination. I also liked the very clever use of the Confessions of a Hooker as a blog and otherwise.
” We just have to go far back enough in time – to the point when no criminal thinks that far ahead. That’s where you will catch him with his guard down”
There are a few aspects of this otherwise impeccable plot, that I didn’t quite agree with.
** Spoiler Alert – Please do not read if you haven’t read the book **
The phishing attack on NYIB was the highlight of the plot and to me it has been executed with the ease an ATM is robbed. Why didn’t the account holders receive any intimation via sms or other means? Wouldn’t this require authentication by the account holder at some point before a withdrawal can be made? Despite the magnitude of the ATM heist, it somehow lost its steam as soon as Townsville took over in the plot.
Varun was left off the hook too easily, just because he successfully planted Laksh Mathur. Despite him being the one handling & heading Townsville and even having visited Ukraine very recently.
How did the green bottle find its way in Tanya’s bag (shown in pictures)? No information about that has been shared despite it being the game changer of the plot.
Samsung is a South Korean company by origin. However while describing the origin of the name Satoshi Nakamoto (Bicoin founder’s virtual name) it is said to have a Japanese Origin.
** Spolier Ends **
Question to the author – You have used the real names of many international personalities and organisations like Obama, Tim Cook, Visa, MasterCard, Dell, Apple, Facebook and more. Did you seek permission to use their names in your novel because not all information shared can be verified or is in positive light.
My Verdict - I highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys fast paced thrillers that keep you on your tenterhooks. The book the power to tempt you to skim through pages in quest to know who is the master-mind, yet not wanting to miss the excitement of every chapter. An absolute page turner.
About the Author – Ravi Subramanian has been described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal. An alumnus of IIM Bangalore, he is the author of five bestselling commercial novels—If God was a Banker (2007), Devil in Pinstripes (2009), The Incredible Banker (2011), The Bankster (2012) and Bankerupt (2013)—based on financial crime. God is a Gamer is his latest masterpiece.
Rating - 4/5
P.S. – Thank you Blogadda for sending over an author autographed review copy.