Review: God is a Gamer
I had always been a fan of thrillers but somehow I'd this idea that Ravi Subramanian wrote a lot involving banking-which given the fact that my father is a banker & loved his books-would be boring.
How wrong I was!
I was lucky to start off with God is a Gamer as my first book by the author. And although it did involve banking & some pretty mundane financial stuffs, the core plot revolving around bitcoins was what kept me hooked.
God is a Gamer is an intriguing tale that begins with a meeting. Joseph Saunders the CEO of Visa International & Vijay Banga President of MasterCard International meet up with a US Senator Gillian Tan to discuss about an initiative that Russia may soon take which would cost the credit card industry a lot of their revenue. Soon after the famous WikiLeaks incident occurs, shaking the US government & forcing all international banks to withhold WikiLeaks' finances.
Bitcoin is a form of virtual money that allows purchase over internet, ease of access & transfer without involving any financial institution. So that's naturally bad news for some people.
And what's a thriller without a murder? Gillian Tan is assassinated & that gets the FBI involved.
We cut to India where Swami the head of retail banking at the New York International Bank is in not so good terms with Malvika the CEO. And the current phishing scam that dupes customers & steals their account details, is not making things any better. At times of difficulty he only has his trusted friend Aditya to rely on for support & advice. Aditya was himself a legend in banking but he'd quit all that to start his own BPO eTios & also owns Indiascape-a gaming company. Together with his right hand man Sundeep he had managed to set up a profitable business & a good reputation.
Things get nasty when that very reputation is at risk & all that Aditya believed in and worked for seems to come crashing down.
I won't reveal any more of the plot, firstly because it's too complicated anyway and secondly, you'd not want to miss reading this thriller right?!
The characters are well-developed. There is a bit of a lag in the narration that should be avoided since this book claims to be a thriller. But I loved the short & crisp chapters. The flow was good, not confusing the reader as we made the transition from US to India, from FBI to CBI.
I found the ending a bit predictable. An observant reader would come up some answers in the later chapters. Nevertheless there are twists & turns that are quite a surprise and ensures that the reader never puts the book down.
A lay man who has limited knowledge of the know-hows of banking and is not a technology-geek may take some time to keep up with the author. Other than that I found this book a good read & would gladly give it a rating of 4/5.