Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Book Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

In yet another of the banking series, Ravi Subramanian comes up with a thriller that spans continents, governments and different companies.

The story:
The book starts with various seemingly disconnected events that happen in the same timeframe. These incidents include the assassination of a high ranking government official in the US, a Nigerian Phishing scam in the Indian branch of the New York international bank and a chance meeting of two acquaintances in a drug exchange in Goa, and an ATM heist. These incidents are preceded by a major development in the world of banks and the payment industry and the rise of the controversial virtual currency or the world of bitcoins.

The story continues with its crisp page-turning pace with the introduction of several characters at various points in the book. Starting with the US official who was murdered, his wife Nikki and daughter Gloria, Ashok, the owner of India’s largest BPO and gaming site, an Indian American who was the chief operator of the ATM heist, Ashok’s long lost son Varun who returns to turnaround his dad’s fortunes in the gaming industry, Malvika, the CEO of New York International Bank and her daughter Tanya, and some recurring characters from his previous book ‘If God was a Banker’ – Swami, a banker with the New York International Bank , and erstwhile banker Sundeep who is now Ashok’s right hand man.

What I liked about the book:
I thoroughly enjoyed the concept of the bitcoins and how they are woven into the storyline. At the end, even if all does not make sense, the means to get the bitcoins certainly does. Ravi Subramanian true to his financial industry background has done some justice to this emerging world of bitcoins.  
I found some of the final revelations on the mastermind behind it all and the motive a bit far-fetched. It was only at the end in which the by-line which accompanies the name of the book ‘Is revenge a crime’ angle is disclosed. Although I enjoyed most of the book, the end seemed to be just not right and just strange!

What I didn’t like about the book:
Well, I have mixed feelings regarding the size of the chapters and the number of characters introduced. The story flits from one context to another a little too fast and it becomes hard to keep track at times of the number of characters that continually get introduced.  However, if you do manage to remember who’s who, the end might just make some sense to you. What I also didn’t like was the unnecessary incorporation of steamy scenes which this author could have really done without. His books are really not from the genre where the author needs to titillate.

To sum up, the story is well built, the bitcoin concept is brilliant. However even so, although all the ends are tied up, I was left with a sense of too many things being too far-fetched or unnecessary. I wouldn’t say this is Ravi Subramanian’s best book yet. However, I would still recommend this as a one time, one shot, entertaining read. All in all, I would give a rating of 3 out of 5 for the book.

Thanks Blogadda for the autographed copy of the book!