God is a Gamer: Book Review

God is a Gamer is authored by Ravi Subramanian (ISBN: 978-0143421399)

published by Penguin; First edition (12 September 2014)

The world’s first bitcoin thriller introduces the reader to the world of bitcoins or online money; money which requires no middlemen or payment gateways and no banks! They are used to buy merchandise anonymously. The bitcoin founder goes by the screen name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Cotton Trail is an online store where all the illegal drugs are available anonymously. The buyers’ identity will not be revealed.

The Characters
The author uses real companies and individual names in his story; Vodafone, MasterCard International, VISA, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange and even Satoshi Nakamoto.  Swami and Sundeep are colleagues mentored by Aditya Rao who is a legend in the Indian Banking Industry. Aditya goes on to start his own company eTIOS which is a BPO and Indiscape which is an online web browser based gaming software. Varun and Tanya are a young couple deeply in love with each other. Malvika is the CEO of New York International Bank; also Swami’s boss. Swami doesn’t like Malvika and he has problems with her.

The Locations
The author takes the reader for a ride from the USA to Sangamner. Though most of the story is set in Washington and Mumbai, he also uses the Rio De Janerio, New York, Goa very effectively. Each chapter is at a location. The author changes chapters as he changes location. There are so many transitions that some readers may get lost between the narrations. He uses exotic locations, branded merchandises, plush offices throughout the book.

The Plot
The US Presidents close aid is killed while he is driving to the President’s office. There is a multi-million dollar ATM heist; perhaps the biggest in the history of the world. Another murder brings the CBI into action. The FBI and the CBI together try to decrypt the case into a classic climax and a shocking post-climax.

The Book
The author starts the book with multi threads of fast paced stories; each of it is cut off from another. You know that all these stories will be connected somewhere ahead in the book but you don’t know when and how. The author succeeds in keeping the reader glued to the book till the suspense is revealed; but the suspense is only one side of the climax. The real show of events in the last few pages astonishes the reader.

The Author
Ravi Subramanian is India’s numero uno thriller writer, having written six bestselling books. He is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore). He connects numerous stories easily and the reader flows through the story. The end seems a bit a stretched. He leaves the look of the characters to the readers’ imagination. He makes the reader keep guessing the possible culprit and change their minds as the book progresses.

The Verdict
The fast paced narration will keep you engrossed and turning pages for more. A successful mix of technology and emotions give this bitcoin story an edge.  A must read for those who love fast moving thrillers.

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