Thursday, October 16, 2014

God is a Gamer - a book review

Touted as the world’s first bitcoin thriller, Ravi Subramanian’s novel God is a gamer   is woven around the lives of a few politicians,bankers,crooks, gamers with ‘Bitcoin’ and an  anonymous online  market place for shady deals called cotton trail playing a crucial role in the story. The plot  moves from Washington's congress to Delhi's finance ministry, the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai.

The book starts with a high profile meeting  in Washington DC between Vijay Banga, president of Master card international and Joseph saunders, the CEO of visa international regarding a routine meeting by the head of a country which could shake the very foundation of their business model.

What follows is an explosion killing a US senator,  An ATM heist in US linking a vendor in India, Bitcoin scams,  Death of two high profile international bankers, FBI investigation etc.

Who kills the US senator? What is the mystery behind the death of the bankers?Who is the brain behind the ATM heist and Bitcoin scam? Is everything interrelated?Will FBI, CBI and Mumbai police get to solve the puzzle?  That forms the 310 page thriller.

Unlike his previous books, banking does not play a major role in this book, instead the book is high on online gaming on facebook and  “Bitcoin” which is touted as the currency of the future. It is very clear from the book that the author has done extensive research on facebook games/online games, bitcoins etc.,After reading the book, many gamers will understand why they are stuck at a particular level in certain online games. I had never known so much went behind a gaming console.These details were very new to me.

There are so many twists and turns thrown along with many emotions like romance, revenge, greed  that the pages turn by themselves. As one reads the book,the investigator in you comes to many conclusions only to be proven wrong in the climax. Another plus in the book is  the narration divided into many small chapters and most of them end in cliffhangers which maintains the suspense and whets the appetite of the reader.

 Editing and proof readingwise, another book in recent times which has many goof ups and I had to re-read at many places  to  grasp and see if I was reading right. For instance on pg 278(chapter94) The pseudonym  of the bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto is said to be derived from 4 japanese companies  Sa from Samsung, toshi from Toshiba, naka from nakamichi and moto from motorala. Now here, neither Samsung or Motorola are Japanese companies. Samsung is a Korean company and Motorola is American. There are also many confusing situations in the book which might rise as a doubt once you read the climax like in the place where Varun picks up the Wasabi nuts from Tanya’s kitchen shelf and Tanya advises him not to eat as they have expired their shelf life. So many such minor loop holes and proof reading errors.

Also, pages are wasted on parallel plots like Sangamner and confessions of a hooker and these are like speed breakers to an otherwise  entertaining book. 

This review is a part of the biggest Indian bloggers book review program  at blogadda Participate now to get free books!