Sunday, 2 November 2014

God is a Gamer - Review

AUTHOR: Ravi Subramanian
ISBN: 978-0-143-42139-9
GENRE: Bitcoin Thriller

EXCERPT: (Credits: Goodreads)

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

Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a
highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises
that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends
the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.

Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming
company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into
the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal
transactions—drugs, sex and money.

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. 


So I've been on a reading spree or rather I still am, three novels at once and this I had to complete within a week's time. I was worried even before the book arrived from Blogadda "Will I or Won't I be able to finish it?" was the question of the hour. But Alas! here I am a week later penning down this review.

The tagline of the book goes as, "Is Revenge a Crime?" and a heavy bet is placed on money. Join the two together and the instant reaction is god please let it not be another mundane money laundering fiction. Good thing is it's not. It is surprisingly refreshing with a mix of corporate conversations with a blend of complicated liaisons, multinational banks, the US Senator and Indian politicians and the crux of it all - Bitcoins in other words Virtual Money. You're in for a ride, a total roller coaster.

As like all other books of the author, this one too follows the parallel plotline. Each chapter is different and you're like what's the connection? why the sudden jump? But then suddenly when you don't even expect they unite. The best part being despite having multiple characters like a thriller usually does, it is not at all confusing. No ambiguity towards the character development nor termination.

The emotions run heavy in this one, the family bonds both loose and tightly bound are explored. At least I was questioning myself how much do things change when one comes to power, be it some change in how we see our loved ones or how the world sees us. Does being a powerful person in a top notch organization or the government really gives you freedom to do anything or it curbs it as your every move is scrutinized in the eyes of opposition and the media.  

Unlike many thrillers that are poorly researched or a complete new set of fiction set up is created, God is a Gamer is wholly researched right from WikiLinks to Satoshi Nakamoto the said founder of bitcoins. 

There are names like DDOS attack, phishing scams, firewalls, malware attacks and so on. I literally remembered my third year project on Intrusion Detection Systems and Honeypots. And I wondered, somethings that are mentioned are usually not taken lightly especially if the organization is big, there is a whole IT department dedicated to it. So, was is it a loophole or done on purpose for the story to shape up the way it did, is still a question mark to me.

So the end? Well read it to find out what happens with all the picturesque build up in the most fascinating way. No spoilers here, no way. I loved the book, makes me want to recommend it to everyone who loves reading. (Okay I did recommend it to a lady in the train yesterday, and she said she'll surely check it out.)

RATING: 8/10
PRICE: Rs. 299
BINDING: Paperback
PAGES: 310

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  1. A very well detailed review ... this book sure sounds like a must-read :-)

    1. It is surely one, especially being an Indian fiction.