God is a Gamer

I recently read God is a Gamer. The latest by Ravi Subhramanian. Got the book as part of the book review program by Blogadda.com. Please note that this is NOT a paid a review. I do NOT make any money from this.

Before I launch in a full-blown review, let me get some numbers out of the way. I mean the ratings.

Readability: 3.5 on 5
Suspense: 3 on 5
Storyline / Plot: 3 on 5
Overall: 3.5 on 5

One line verdict
God is a Gamer is an attempt at writing a chase through myriad locations, characters and situations, all of it culminating in one destination. A pot-boiler for sure.

Full review
I read the book a few days back but never found the time to write a review. Here I am, on a Sunday morning. Trying to wrap my head about what I read a few days back. Whatever I write will come from my head and I would not have the advantage of flipping through the pages to write the review.

So, the plot is slightly difficult to talk about in few words. I’d still try. A few seemingly unrelated crimes happen in New York, Washington and Mumbai. In US, a high-ranking government servant / official is murdered and the great police departments, the FBI, the CIA and all other three-letter agencies can’t seem to figure out the intent or MO. In Mumbai, a banker is killed and the police is forced to cast a net so wide that the Finance Minister himself becomes a suspect. Meanwhile in Mumbai, a BPO handling transactions for the large financial institutions in US gets hacked and it results in

At time the books reads like a corporate espionage, a political thriller, a murder mystery, a chase and of course, a love story! Love the way Ravi got all these themes together in one place! I wish I could do the same with my books!

Of course I could get into more details but then I would have to unravel the suspense. Nah, I won’t do that. The book has to be read. It’s definitely a one time read. And a racy one at that.

Coming to the good bits

  • Short chapters. Each chapter is about 2 slides of the page. Brilliant strategy. The book becomes a page turner. I think that’s a new trend. Last book I reviewed, Private India was similar.
  • A brilliant way to teach the basics of financial industry, especially a peer to peer currency like Bitcoin. Reminds me of Goldratt’s Goal. I think Ravi needs to look at that genre closely. Can he make the boring things like finance into interesting plots and stories like God is a Gamer?

There were a few things that I did not like. I call them not-so-good bits

  • Too many characters for my liking. Unless the book is a Godfather that requires me to think of motives and actions of men (that are guided by long standing traditions rather than moments of insanity), I dont want to burden myself with too many characters or too many side plots. May be its Ravi’s style.
  • The Bitcoin misnomer. The book has hardly anything to do with Bitcoin. Agreed that crimes happen because the Bitcoins are at the heart of the issue but again, I won’t call it The Bitcoin Thriller.
  • Hollywood-ization. There are elements in the book that probably are best suited for a spy thriller (spoiler alert: hidden rings etc) based in the US of A. As an Indian reader, I just can not relate to these things. May be other evolved readers can. But I cant. So it could be my limitation, as compared to the book. You decide.

That’s it I guess in form of a review.

In the end 
Definitely a one-time read if nothing else. Do read it. At times the book is unputdownable. I could finish the book in two sittings. That’s it.

Thanks!
SG

Notes
1. This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
2. Since I am an author as well now, I take these reviews even more seriously.
3. If you want to review my first book, The Nidhi Kapoor Story, please write into me (or leave a comment) and I would be in touch.

Originally posted on SG’s Personal Blog.


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