06 March, 2015

#BookReview :: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

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.

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On one hand we have the death of Malvika, a banker, who falls off a high rise building. On the other hand we have Arjun, a struggling entrepreneur, whose business seem to get a strong foothold once Varun, a part time drug dealer, joins him. Meanwhile, a meeting between the President of Mastercard International and the CEO of the Visa International is underfoot while another meeting in the US could have a huge impact on the global market. And how does the world of bitcoins, virtual money, fit in the whole plot?

The first thing about this novel is its plot and sub-plots. There is a lot going on to keep the readers going. Spanning over different continents, from India to USA, the story is a rollercoaster ride. Finely woven into tangles, the reader has to work with the author to untangle all the threads and reach the conclusion. The narration of the story has been broken into short chapters, taking us from one end of the world to another, are really not as effective as the ones that James Patterson produces. It did feel a bit abrupt as sometimes a chapter would all of a paragraph leaving me thinking – ‘wait, I want to know more there’.

Another aspect of any book is its characters. ‘God is a Gamer’ has a whole bunch of them while none of them actually stand out. It was hard for me to connect to any of the characters sometimes because of the lack of background and sometimes because of the style of narration. They are there to give the plot a certain direction, yet none of them really makes an impression. Neither the protagonist, nor the antagonist made me want to root for them. And even after finishing the whole book, I cannot say I know even one character completely.

I have loved Ravi Subramain’s previous works, and have been looking forward to this one, especially what with the concept of bitcoins being promoted so much. But I was sorely disappointed this time. This book has a lot of action, thrills and keeps you turning the pages. Yet overall it fails miserably if you have read the author’s previous works.

Review Copy received from Random House India

1 comment:

  1. Seems like a thrilling book from the preface! So many different scenarios! Thanks for the review though