God is a gamer from the best- selling author of ‘If God was a Banker,’ Ravi Subramanian was indeed not on my wish list as for a hard-core romantic like me especially when it had a sub-title Is Revenge a Crime? Certainly not my cup of tea…
When I saw that the book was up for review from Blogadda, I casually clicked the review button and Lo & Behold! It was on my doorsteps. My instant reaction was, I can’t handle it, but as I opened the neatly packed parcel and took the book in my hands, its cover arrested my attention. I said why not give it a try…reading it…reviewing it! The cover was impressive, as I flipped through the book; I knew I was entering into unexplored territory. Some heavy duty research on Bitcoins, ATM heists, murders, drugs, gaming, banking…what not. Regretting my decision for asking the book for review, next morning, I decided to start with the book.
AND, AND, AND I am completely bowled over by the narrative, story, plot, situations, emotions, real life characters, their insecurities, jealousies and love-hate relationships which have been handled by the author with panache. Though there are too many characters and situations to handle but its fun, you scratch your head in confusion; you tear your hair in desperation, you bite your nails in fear…what next? Having not done any research on the author, I just went by the jacket of the book and followed my instinct, in no time I was transcended into different world which led to adrenalin rush, the murder of Gillian Tan, attack on Nikki Tan, ATM heist, Malvika’s death, Story of Gloria and Swamy’s accident hold the key to suspense which is the mainstay of this thriller. I am a self-confessed techard – but technology which is key to the plot and leads to such sticky situations, made me read all those chapters carefully, may be twice sometimes for the better understanding.
Oh yes! I did not skip a single word, forget skipping pages. The scene of handling of Aditya Rao in FBI Headquarters by Adrian is well-written, only a author of Ravi’s magnitude could have handled it so deftly. Chapters are short and crisp with places as titles which makes it easier to decipher, we are in which time zone and following which time line. Though suicide rather murder of Malvika was quite abrupt and not convincing for most of the part especially the involvement of Finance Minister, but it thickens the plot. The book explores deeply on the possibility of what happens if world is ruled by virtual currency – Bitcoins, how it will change the way people transact, how it will empower them transferring funds, how they can order banned drugs anonymously, how it will operate through a secret key …all these added to the knowledge. Financial world would certainly be a different place with Bitcoins.
The characters of Adrian and Tony are sharp, investigative, committed…adorable! Swamy is a typical banker who wants a position anyhow and Malvika, a power hungry CEO who wants to be RBI Governor and goes any length to achieve her ambition. Tanya’s character is most ambiguous, she is smart intelligent modern woman who has her sexual desires up her sleeves and uses that ammunition to the hilt. Coming to Varun, his love for Gloria and lust for Tanya are two facets of his emotional side, and what a technical wizard Varun was.
Explicit sex escapades disturb the plot; as reader is too busy to know what next. Gaming as a business with Varun at helm makes interesting read and add to the knowledge how gaming world works, how it is being made to survive the competition, what are bots, what are malwares, all this and much more in this thriller by Ravi.
Description and treatment of places like Goa, Delhi, Mumbai, Washington DC, New York and Miami leads to lot of authenticity to the plot, for 200 pages it is the most gripping read but after that, complexities unfurl like past of Gloria Tan, Aditya Rao and Malvika’s relationship and Swamy’s murder. While investigations of all the principal characters in Mumbai is on with FBI, CBI and Mumbai Police in attendance…& the fingers were pointed at…
But this is what FBI and CBI had investigated, may be?
‘Bitcoin’ is the central character of this revenge saga but at places it loses focus and ATM heist takes the centre-stage which eventually adds to the thrill, courtesy razor sharp narration by the author. There are many questions which remain unanswered but painstaking research done by the author cannot be undermined. How various events and characters are linked to each other and are responsible for the circumstances has been intricately woven, here the devil lies in details.
Book is a tasty decoction of emotions – effectively displayed by Aditya Rao as father, Varun Rao as son, Kalpana as Swamy’s wife, Gloria as Nikki Tan’s daughter, Malvika and Tanya as mother & daughter, Adrian & Tony as colleagues, Varun and Tanya as couple… readers couldn’t have asked for more.
Ravi Subramanian has effectively woven money, ATM heist, Bitcoins, Gaming, Chase, Investigations, Murder, Suicide, Friendship, Love, Sex, Hatred…everything in this thriller – God is a Gamer. Overall an interesting read and people would love to read it & relish it on weekends.
So coming back to the question – Is Revenge a Crime? No, it is not! Everybody should be served right, by GOD. Go ahead and grab your copy today.
– Book reviewed by Bienu Verma Vaghela
– Photo courtesy Tanya Vaghela