Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book Review :: 'God Is A Gamer' by Ravi Subramanian

Book Review (Part of 'The Book Club' blog tour)

Genre: Thriller (Penguin Books Ltd)   
Blurb:  
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 culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

My Review:
‘God Is A Gamer’ is the first book by Ravi Subramanian, which I have read, and found it to be engaging read. Set in the backdrop of WikiLeaks and bitcoin (digital currency) controversy, the story has all the shades of a thriller; power, lust, greed, and revenge.


The novel opens with the assassination of a US Senator’s in a bomb blast, simultaneously a bank in India comes under a massive credit card scam, causing the management to scuttle around looking for a scapegoat. While FBI investigates the Senator’s murder, a person in USA runs a shady online business in Bitcoin, riots in Goa involve Nigerians drug-traders, and the bank is hit with another ATM heist.

What would be the future of the bank and associated businesses? Was the chairman of the bank murdered or she committed suicide? What was the mystery behind the laptops blowing-up? Who was the hooker, leaking the juicy secrets of high-end customers? What is the motive behind all these crimes and what is the connection? Answers to these and more would be found in ‘God Is A Gamer’.

The story was engaging and I found myself skipping bits and pieces, in a hurry to get to the crux of the matter. Curious to know, if my hunch about the criminal was correct or not, I read it in one sitting. World of bitcoins, and gaming has been expertly dealt with. The real names used in the beginning and the way FBI agents investigated, particularly zeroed on Josh, gave the story an authentic feel.

The style of narration, with parallel sub-plots, short chapters, and the setting alternating between countries, reminded me of Robert Ludlum novels. The language is simple yet sophisticated.

Given the pace of the story, I didn’t have time to think and enjoyed till the time CBI’s Kabir Khan and FBI’s Adrian Scott came together to unmask the mastermind behind the crimes. It was then it became a little drag for me, precisely at page 272. It was a bit disconcerting to see the two senior investigators playing the guessing game, with all the suspects looking on. The climax and last chapter could have been shorter and crisper.

Another thing that I missed was a strong protagonist, for whom I could have rooted. I got a little attached to Aditya Rao, but didn’t feel for him as his son leaves him.

Overall, I enjoyed the book. A recomended read. 



Know The Author 
Described as the ‘John Grisham of banking’, by the Wall Street Journal, Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bangalore, 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. His latest book God is a Gamer, releases on September 12th.

Having been a banker himself, he has a unique insight into the industry he writes about and a flair for spinning intricate plots that keep readers on the edge of their seats

His debut novel, If God was a Banker, won the 2008 Golden Quill Readers’ Choice Award and, more recently, The Incredible Banker won the 2011 Economist-Crossword Book Award in the ‘Popular’ category. He won the Crossword book award for The BANKSTER in 2012.

Ravi lives in Mumbai with his Biotechnologist turned banker wife, Dharini and his fourteen year old daughter Anusha.

You can stalk Ravi Subramanium @

                              
This post is the part of blog tour brought to you by The Book Club



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