Bhumika Desai Shah

Book Review: God Is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

In Book Review, commuter's rage.., Learning Horizones on October 30, 2014 at 7:10 am

“God  Is Gamer”, just reading the name of the book gave me little mythological impression. Being little less religious, at the first glance- I ignored opting for it on Blog Adda for Book Review. But driven by curiosity I read the description about author and book which made me tempted. And looking at the book cover, I immediately registered myself for Book Review! And the wait started… The temptation increased with each book review shared by fellow blogger and finally I received my copy!

A perfect Diwali gift! 🙂
“Ye Diwali Thriller wali!”- was the first thought that came in my mind taking the book in hands. As per my habit, first read was the back cover which pumped up excitement. While doing packing for Diwali vacation, I could not resist reading prologue.
“Well almost!”- reading the last line of prologue I already had butterflies in my mind and stomach. Till now brain which was busy thinking about- Diwali shopping, list of relatives to meet at Ahmedabad, necessary customs to follow and ways to behave at In-Law’s house- was now revolving around the new word learned – BitCoin, new world explored- virtual world.
What an interesting invention-virtual currency! What an interesting plot! Virtual World- The world we all live in, dream about, chase to make real!
What next? How can a banker tell a thriller story? Can money make interesting tale?
It was my first experience reading “Ravi Subramanian”, and I had some prejudice already.  I have read lot many books written by Engineers, Doctors, Artists- but a Banker?  Somehow I find the Banking sector little dry and boring and so it was surprising for me to imagine a baker writing a thriller!

And the another wait started, wait to read the book. Diwali along with happiness and lights also bring hell lot household stuff to manage. And believe me it was hell tough to manage multitasking 🙂  – Reading while dusting, Reading while cleaning, reading while cooking, reading while having a nap, reading while talking to relatives, reading while doing anything and everything almost! Till I finished the book, I literally lived in two worlds, One physically- One intellectually!
Enough of my emotional dilemma, let me talk about the story now 🙂 Don’t worry, I will not be a spoiler!

Story :
Story revolves around “Bitcoins”- Virtual currency.
Though it has too many inter connected threads woven perfectly. US President’s close aid been killed, a Nigerian group in Goa, a father and son meeting after ages, suicide of a well acclaimed banker followed by an accident of another, Indian and Us criminals spreading havoc of crimes- how all these stories connect? At the end every piece connects perfectly and solves the riddle.
Where power, position and money flows- things fall apart. Story introduced me to-Bitcoin, the virtual currency that gives anonymous power and new definition to danger to world. I, being masters of Computer Engineering knew nothing about- bitcoins! And it was first time when I explored a new term or technology from a novel not from Google!
Author has mentioned real companies and almost real characters giving greater details- which makes you realize and appreciate the hard work and planning of long busy months.
Though it was a perfect thriller to lighten my diwali, I could find few loose ends from story such as-
a) Page no- 278 says- The virtual currency “Bitcoin” is invented by – Santoshi Nakamoto, where the founder’s identity is formed by 4 Japanese giants. 1) SA-samsung 2) TOSHI- Toshiba 3)NAKA- nakamichi 4) MOTO- Motorola. With a little doubt when I asked “GoogleDev”, I could confirm that Samsung is a company located at Daegu, south Korea- not a Japanese company. Though Sanyo could replace that SA in spell being a Japanese Giant.
b) The story discusses Phishing attack using user’s login ID and password. Though reader in me was convinced with the plot, the Computer engineer in me- argues technicality. As far as I have experienced online transactions- most of them have two level authentications. User, upon any transaction request, will be sent some password on his/her mobile. And only after confirmation using that password user can proceed- kind of. I assume author may have not considered these authentications to make story plot simple.
c) While finishing graduation, I have been victim of keylogger programs and that had taught me use of onscreen keyboards and virtual keyboard- a fairly old yet effective concept. Though it doesn’t always work, yet can help most of the times. Author could have used this concept technically while plotting phishing attack.
d) Concept of Bitcoins was explored beautifully. Yet somehow I could not get how real money can be converted to bitcoins and how bitcoins could be converted back to real money? How new bitcoins will be generated eventually like real money is generated?  – Perhaps my brain wavelength was short to understand the newly learnt virtual technology!
Though these points made me brainstorm technically, “God Is a Gamer” is really a feast for both heart and head. The sizzling story, perfectly planned plot, jumbled characters and story threads, suspense, thrill and chill- Definitely must read!
Ravi Subramanian- you really made me read, read and read while doing everything starting from household work to sleeping- till I reached  page no-310 🙂
Summary :
Title: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subramanian

Publishers: Penguin
ISBN: 978-0-143-42139-9
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 310
MRP:  Rs 299
Conclusion- MUST READ


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