Sunday, October 26, 2014

Book Review: God is a Gamer

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanium
ISBN: 9780143421399
Pages: 310 
Ratings: 4/5
Price: 299

Something about the book: (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 he 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.

Pop quiz – What happens if you have not read a good book for months?
Ans – You are literally going through literary withdrawal and would get high with even a small insignificant dose of good fiction.
Of late, I have been reading some really ‘not upto the mark’ books (totally my fault!) So when Blogadda sent me God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanium for review, my expectations were below the zero mark but it had me from the very start - the prologue! The story starts with an intense conversation, between two corporate honchos, regarding Wikileaks. The story rushes straight into action with an explosion and from there on the book doesn’t really have any drop points. The story moves with parallel plots in multiple cities including Mumbai, Washington DC and Goa. Characters range from S senators, to Heads of Banks and Mastercard and Visa to drug dealer cum gaming genius and many more. The death of a US Senator was what sets the pace of the book but is not the only one and the way the story is weaved with phishing issues, Bitcoins and world financial drama is what makes it impossible to keep the book down.
Pros :
1.   Plot – When you use Wikileaks and Bitcoins in the initial pages and do a damn good job at it, half the battle is won. And when you get large plotlines together with such ease and in a convincing way, it means you can pat your back. The plot is not only intriguing, it is written in simple yet in a very engaging fashion.
2.   Characters – One of the major issues with thrillers with a lot of characters is readers tend to lose track of the characters and a lot of times some characters and under used or just appear as fillers. But with the short chapters and the constant plot swings of God is a Gamer, it is hard to lose track of the characters. And each one is important, or at least that is what I felt.
3.  Well Researched Matter – The content is not only fresh but is very well researched making it an enjoyable read.
4.  Ending – Oh didn’t I fall for the pseudo ending and say seriously before I got the mild attack! *Have said too much already!*
Cons :
1.   Logical Loopholes – Data transfer from a system that is shut down, that too cause of a malware! Is that even possible? There are quite a few logical loopholes but this one stood out glaringly for me (an IT professional). Another one was the phishing attacks – don’t they need cell phone access for the one time password or something? How do Account ID and Password give you total access of the account?
2.  Ending – Yes, I liked the fact that I almost fell for the pseudo ending, but the actual ending was a bit unrealistic for me to digest.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book and would give it a 4 on 5. The book would make a lot of readers hit Google for atleast a couple of hours. It is fast paced and fresh and totally justifies its sub genre of Banking Thriller. And this is confession time – after reading this book I realized what I have been missing for months. Totally recommending the book!

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


  1. :) thanks for the lovely review. Am glad you liked it...4/5 is a wow rating for me. Time for me to get thrilled. By the way.. the story takes place a few years back.. when OTP passwords or phone alerts for ATM access were not the norm. :) And the use of the computer when in idle state (not powered off) is actually inspired by true life incident. It actually happened the way i have mentioned in God is a Gamer :)

    1. I didnt know the OPT thing didnt exist earlier :D That was interesting then and yes the book totally deserves the 4/5! :)