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 : [usr 3.75 text=”false” size=20]

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