God is a Gamer

Title: God is a GamerGod is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Penguin Books
ISBN: 978-0-143-42139-9
Number of Pages: 310
Price [INR]: 299
Genre: Fiction/Crime

What happens when you cross gamer, banker, politician and terrorist with virtual money?

From the bestselling author of If God was a Banker comes the first ever bitcoin thriller. God Is a Gamer is a world where money means nothing, martyrs are villains, predators are prey, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

Moving from Washington’s congress to Delhi’s finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the Corporate boardrooms of Mumbai, this is Ravi Subramanian’s most gripping novel yet.

I have read Ravi Subramanian’s earlier books, The Bankster and Bankerupt and had enjoyed reading these racy pacy thrillers. So, was looking forward to his new book, God is a Gamer.

God is a Gamer is set across Washington DC, New York, Mumbai, Goa, Rio de Janeiro, New Delhi and keeps moving back and forth between these cities. Multiple characters  are entwined in various plot lines involving banking, online gaming, bitcoins, investigations, BPO operations, love, lust and politics.

With short chapters, the story switches back and forth between these various sub-plots evenly, giving that complexity and tension that readers of a thriller crave for. So, there’s a senator who is assassinated in the US while in Mumbai, many customers become victims of a phishing attack in a large global bank. The CEO of this bank falls from the thirty-fourth floor of a building while another top official is killed in a hit and run accident. An ATM heist is committed in the US and a new online game revives the fortune of a gaming company. And then there’s the FBI, CBI and Mumbai Police working together to solve the murders and scams.

Interweaving all these sub plots is yet another plot (main?) which revolves around bitcoins, the new digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of the banking or financial institutions. This was something new for me and the detailed explanation of the bitcoin transaction process was insightful. However, how can one buy/sell these bitcoins and how is this virtual electronic currency converted into real cash, was not explained in the book. And that’s because, a few murders and crimes were committed to acquire these bitcoins in the story.

Having played FarmVille, the online farming game on Facebook, the discussions and the inside information shared in the book about Townsville, the new online game was both interesting and informative. The Confessions of the Hooker part either could have been explored a bit more or totally avoided, as it seemed a bit forced

God is a Gamer is a tremendously gripping thriller —almost addictive, till the near end. Towards the climax, it just lost its steam. The author avoided the most used axiom in story telling, “Show, don’t tell”, in God is a Gamer. Looks like to tie the loose ends from so many parallel stories, Ravi tells us the various connections and the relationships, pretty hastily! And this was kind of disappointing!

After having read the book and enjoyed it too, I am clueless about the title. I am not able to connect the God angle in this book.

The disappointment in the end is overshadowed simply because of the tight plot which keeps the reader engaged and hooked and impatient to turn the pages like a thriller should. God is a Gamer is an engaging and entertaining read!

Rating :

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22 thoughts on “God is a Gamer

  1. Maybe Mr. Subramanian used it to echo back to some of his previous books, or because the name “God” in/on a book will get a lot of people to at least take a look? Of course, I check out all of your blog posts that I can, but the title of this book did catch my eye. Glad to hear most of the book was a page-turner!

    • Dont know what was the thought behind God in the book, but I couldn’t find any co-relation 😛 But would an author keep the title just so that it is catchy, even if it not relevant to the story. Dont know!! May be I couldn’t understand the link to God 😀

  2. Sounds like an intriguing thriller Shilpa, though too bad about the ending. I think I heard something recently in real life about some kind of virtual currency so it seems there may be a bit of truth in the story possibly? Mind you, it seems like a lot of fiction (at least what I read) does have elements of truth in it, don’t you find? 😉 <3

    • Yes, you are right, Elly. The Bitcoins or the virtual currency is a real thing! And incidentally, the book has names of real companies and instances drawn from real life too! So a lot of truth than fiction actually, in this book 🙂

  3. I really need to pick up books Ravi Subramanium. Haven’t read any of his works. Loved your indepth review. The part about Townsville is interesting. Maybe becasue once upon a time I was an addict too. 🙂

  4. I felt the same about the book shilpa.

    Also, in such a well researched book where there are exhaustive write ups on facebook gaming etc… the book has slipped while giving information on bitcoin founder’s name ( satoshi to be derived from samsung and motorola and names them as japanese companies!!) . Such goof ups sometimes makes the reader skeptical about the actual information in the book.

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