Friday, November 21, 2014

God is a Gamer - Ravi Subramanian - A Book Review

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian 
Price: Rs.205 @31% Discount at Flipkart
Genre: Thriller
No. of Pages: ~310 

Thanks to Awesome BlogAdda's Awesome Book Review Program, this is the second time I am reading Ravi Subramanian. Earlier I had reviewed The Bankster by the same author.

Compared to The Bankster, God is a Gamer is much more interesting. It is evident that a lot more preparation and research has gone into the book and therefore, it is simply better.

The below video is a 2 minute trailer on the book. And it is pretty good. I actually saw this video after I read the book and therefore it made complete sense to me. 

For now I will assume that it will make sense to people who haven't read it yet either. So here you go:

Kudos to the team that put up the video. Not bad at all (except for maybe the explosion that kills the Senator) considering some of the really bad videos made for some pretty big and famous Indian books. This is a crisp summary of the main events. Well Done! The Author should send them a token of appreciation (if he hasn't already!).

The Author:
Ravi has come a long way from his The Bankster days. The confidence is his writing and his willingness to take risks by weaving even more stories and characters together are both refreshing and entertaining. 

Read a few reviews online saying that he cannot step away from the Banking sector and write something different - But I say, that is his plus point and he should stick to it (we already have too many IIT/IIM Alumni in the Sappy-Crappy-Romance Genre). Having said that, God is a Gamer is not all banking (actually, there is very minimal banking stuff in it) and this one is more political and technical.

It is just proof that a well-researched book is always fun to read. Well done, Mr. Subramanian!

And glad that you have a decent website now and that you just don't stick to your FB profile (had mentioned that in my review of The Bankster).

What could have been Better (Spoiler-Alert!):

  1. Too many characters and therefore no time to actually develop each one. Disappointed with how the characters Swami and Sundeep were handled throughout the book. Also, unnecessary characters like the killer-lorry-driving goon and some guy who he beat up, etc. - Distracting! Avoidable!
  2. Difficult to digest items - Bombs killing Senators, hiring RAF to do it (despite the help of the Chief of Staff of the President of America), and the amount of luck the hero has, to get everything right, with no roadblocks whatsoever, all along the way.
  3. The Epilogue! What a disappointment. The author just ran through it with a bulldozer. I would have loved it if the Detectives (Adrian and Tony) figured the whole thing out much later and the whole explanation was provided as a discussion with each other (and it ends with them saying, "we will just leave it for now... too messy to set it right..." as the sun sets behind Vinay and Gloria - Too Bollywoodish?). What was the need to bring in a Narrator to do this. Why, Oh! Why, Dear Author? 
  4. Despite calling it a Bitcoin thriller, the actual Bitcoin stuff of it somehow gets overshadowed by all the online social network gaming stuff. More of the latter than the former throughout the book.
  5. The subtitle on the cover "Is Revenge a Crime?" and the scene where Vinay hides the small black device in Tanya's apartment (although handled well) were blatant giveaways to identifying the real mastermind behind it all. Although, the reasons for why this was done were handled well and therefore kept the whole book interesting. 
  6. Some smaller goof-ups like mixing up CBI and FBI, thinking Samsung (and Motorola?) is a Japanese Company, etc. Pardonable!

Who Will Like It:
God is a Gamer is a very good thriller. The simple fact that the story never gets to romantic itself is quite the blessing. The language is not unnecessarily pompous and a lot of stuff which I did not know about like the Misznay–Schardin effect, The Onion Router, and Satoshi Nakamoto - Google it up - Interesting and Educational.

In Short - Although, God is a Gamer is a very good read, it is better read in one sitting than lazily over a couple of days. Too many characters in the book can make it a bit confusing - if you pick it up the next day you won't remember half the people by their names.

Who Will NOT Like it:
Well, if you like Thrillers, then there is no reason to not like it. It has enough twists and turns to keep you engaged from start to finish.

My Rating: 
This is a 3.5 out of 5: It is a 3.5 because it is better in comparison to The Bankster. By better, I mean, better language and better story. Although it could have been even better if there were fewer characters, believable murders, and most importantly if the ending was not rushed (I remember this was the case for The Bankster too).

But, all said and done, reading Ravi Subramanian is refreshing and it does not let you down. The books have been getting better and better and I can smell a real big best-seller around the corner. Don't let us down, Ravi. And keep up the great work.

{{{Just one small query to the Author - Don't you get into trouble for using real names of organisations like Zynga and their products like Farmville? Really loved it because it was easier to connect with the book when you put real stuff in it.}}}

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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