God is a Gamer: Book Review
Where would you hide your deepest secret?
Here comes a fantastic and fast-paced cyber crime thriller from Ravi Subramanian which will keep you on your toes.
God is a Gamer is his latest offering and an absolutely great piece of work if you are into crime-based plots and banking.
I got lured into reading it simply because of his wonderful past work and it's publicity as 'the first ever Bitcoin thriller'.
The focus here is on virtual money, how it is used, encashed and becomes the larger part of the plot.
If you have no inkling about bitcoins, you will get an idea while reading this book as the author has taken the pains to describe it.
It is a tight plot and takes you across several countries making you turn several pages at the beginning quite quickly. The story is interesting and gripping as with all of his earlier works.
Aditya, Swami and Sundeep are buddies who start their career at NYIB's (New York International Bank) Indian operations.
Swami aspires to reach the top of his game but gets jerked around by his boss, Malvika, who reports him to the Bank Headquarters. Crores of rupees get swindled through fake ATM withdrawals resulting in a scandal of gargantuan proportions.
An ATM heist in New York, characters like Varun and Tanya Sehgal, Gloria and Gillian Tan, Adrian, Rudra are just to name a few of the main characters. A terrorist plots to kill a US Senator. Stories within stories and plots within plots. I happened to be able to draw a few parallels from real life organizations and characters too. Just saying, how real some of this felt.
Also, there were so many characters from different cities to catch up with at times, that I did have to turn back a few pages to remember where they came from. For me, that was the only difficulty but that does not take anything away from this book. Had it been a movie, it would have been easier to visualize and remember all of them. I believe this could definitely be a movie.
A genius drug dealer, a struggling gaming company owner, terrorists, a handsome senator, a fugitive and some top level banking professionals run you through the plot.
With 4 billion dollars and more at stake, banker suicide, Mastercard, Visa, Wikileaks and so many big names used as they are in the book, the story opens with an assassination in the US, moves through a drug racket, Nigerian phishing scam, plenty of great quotes like Man's right to remain anonymous and decide what's good for him- it all struck a very big chord in me.
Mumbai, Delhi, Goa, USA, Rio de Janerio and several other places are covered.
The hard-core gamer in me was elated at the mention of the roots of the gaming industry starting with the likes of Pac-man, having been an avid pac-man addict in my earlier days, definitely touched a deep spot in me.
Ravi Subramanian's writing is lucid, the plot has been well woven out.
Each character is well introduced to keep you abreast of each situation, the chapters are kept nice and short.
Overall he delivers a great rush of adrenaline. Have a day off? Read this book.
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