{Book Review} God is a Gamer

‘God is a Gamer’ by Ravi Subramanian is a gripping novel about the ‘not black, not white, it’s grey” world of bitcoin trading, and the use of bit coins to purchase illegal or banned substances. No, this is not only about bitcoins, but a whole saga of murder, love, lust and revenge woven around it, with the world of gaming, and politics thrown in for good measure! As I read the book, the one thought that was with me throughout was the relief that finally, India had produced a writer capable of successfully delivering a thriller. And a thriller this is in every sense of the word!

I will not reveal the story line simply because I detest it being revealed to me, especially in a book review. But I can tell you other things about this book!

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The story is set across 2 continents, with some guest appearances from countries in other continents as well! I was quite impressed with the author’s creativity in joining a well-cited speculation with the plot of his story, leaving us wondering at times, if the ‘fictional’ story does in fact have an element of truth about the virtual world of bit coin trading.

As the book stayed with me over two days of moments stolen to read it (in the midst of a crazy week), I was left constantly wondering what would come next! In the beginning the plot looked too weak and coincidental and I thought it was a hole in the story line, but only the last chapter revealed why, and then it was not coincidental at all! A brilliant piece of story crafting indeed!

The characters were great, and I found that most of them came alive for me. In fact, the character of Aditya was described so well, that at times I felt I knew him quite intimately, and I could even anticipate his reactions to events! 12 hours after putting down the book, I am still empathizing with him! Now, that’s a first for me!

Subramanian has the right mix of practical and real-world experience in the banking industry, as well as the powers of a master story-teller. I found however that the book was in some places quite poorly edited, and I spotted a few grammatical errors. That was surprising to me, considering that the author had publishing giant Penguin on this side. His language could be firmed up a bit, but you know what, for the first time in my life, I don’t really care, because RS sure has a solid storyline!

Another grouse I had concerned the title of the book, but after some back-work I realized that it was
a) a sequel to Subramanian’s ‘God is a Banker’ thriller, and
b) also a play on the words “God game”.
Quite an apt title, considering the book is interspersed with insights into the gaming industry.

The story has a surprisingly unique ending – not entirely happy, but not entirely sad either, and I am hoping that the author will think of a sequel really soon! I have not read a thriller this fast-paced and with such an intricately-woven tale in a long time!

I cannot wind up this review without quoting this line that has been haunting me since I read it – “This is the first time where his real world and his virtual world collided” – it’s a quote that might have been quoted before, but it was a very good one in the context of the book, and food for thought indeed!

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a hot plot, an element of romance, several sprinklings of suspense and a whiff of adventure in their reading!

Information about the author:
Ravi Subramanian has written six bestselling thrillers. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (Bangalore), he is currently head of a leading financial institution. A career banker and financial services professional, Ravi has worked with various multinational banks (Citibank, ANZ Grindlays Bank and HSBC) for over eighteen years. As a result of his extensive background in foreign banks, writing about banking comes quite naturally to Ravi. Each one of his books thus far have been set in the backdrop of a foreign bank.

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