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Friday Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

Title: God is a Gamer
Author: Anurag Anand
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books India (September 12th 2014)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon | Flipkart – eBook/Paperback

Summary: (Goodreads)
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:

Note: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Cover: Eye-catchy!

Paper and font: Ebony on Ivory!

Readability, language: Easy on the Mind.

Why did I choose this book: A book on bit coins sounded interesting, so I thought ‘why not’.

A simple email scam sets off an avalanche of scams, murders and complications. A US Senator is assassinated, an ATM heist is pulled off, a bank is put in jeopardy, a virus is released, virtual money is stolen, a bank chairman is murdered, and there is more. How all of this ties in, is what God is a Gamer is all about.

When I first came across the book, I remember the name striking me as an interesting name. Having read the book, now, I don’t see a connection between the title and story. The cover though well done is a typical thriller cover, not unlike the Dan Brown’s and Tom Clancy’s. The blurb is very unsatisfactory. It has more praise for the author than info on the story. And the little that is said, is said in such a convoluted manner that it muddles more than intrigues.

I have to concede that the plot is new and yet… I felt the plot was just too thick, Subramanian has packed the story with so many twists and sub-plots that after a while I was all lost. There was so much happening and the story was told in bits as it unfolds across the world in various peoples lives.

The story spans across countries but centers mostly around Mumbai and Washington DC. Subramanian’s descriptions of the cities are quite bang on, especially Goa and its hot spots. Yet some how it all feels disjointed.

The story is packed with characters, so many that sometimes I forgot who was who. I couldn’t figure out who was the hero or heroine even at the end of it all. There were just so much happening to so many people.

I took a day off to read the book and sat glued to it through the day. Thinking back it wasn’t because the story was that gripping but rather because it was all so complicated that I really wanted to get to the end and see how Subramanian tied it all up. The story is like a magicians knot, complicated, tied up, twisted and convoluted but one jerk by the magician and it all straightens out.

Subramanian hops about all over as he tells the story in small bits as it unfolds. This did make for difficult reading as I tried to parallel process all he was saying. Added to this were the intimate scenes with somehow felt out of place to me, almost like the author had to meet a target and so put them in there. The language though is simple and easy, the pace good too.

If my review seems all muddled, it’s because the book left me all muddled. There is just so much happening. I’m not sure if so many sub-plots were needed. There is just one too many a scam. A thriller doesn’t have to be so complicated, does it?

The cover carries the text ‘Is revenge a crime?’. This doesn’t make sense until you read the last four pages. Subramanian makes complex complicated knots on a storyline through the book and tries to untangle with a flourish at the end. Well, he did manage untangle them and explain it all, but was there a flourish, that is debatable.

A book for YA and above. Over all a good book if you don’t intend to use your mind while reading it.

About the Author:
An alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Ravi Subramanian is a banker who has used his industry knowledge to write five bestselling novels. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter. See his other books on his website – www.authorravis.com.

Buy On: Amazon | Flipkart – eBook/Paperback

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