Saturday, 8 November 2014

Book Review : God Is A Gamer


GOD IS A GAMER


BY RAVI BUBRAMANIAN


The king of the financial thriller is back... in full strength. Ravi Subramanian is an MBA from IIM by Education, and a banker by profession with nearly 2 decades of work experience in the field of Finance spanning some top financial houses. Ravi uses his extensive experience in the financial world to create some scary scenarios and plots, which seem very very real... The current book is yet another in the same lines, with its focus on the hot topic of the day - the elusive and indefinable world of bitcoins




THE PLOT


God Is A Gamer is based on four or five hot topics in the current times : Bitcoins, Shady side of ECommerce, Outsourcing & BPOs, Hacking & Security Concerns, Online Gaming, and ATM Frauds. He has very skillfully woven all of these into the basic storyline, and created a novel of sheer class. Given his banking expertise, the story is flawless; I have worked in financial field {albeit at a much lower level than Ravi} before and I at least could not spot any flaw.

The story is played out in two nations - The USA and India; and on three major entities - New York International Bank, eTios and its sister concern, and the FBI, with our CBI & Local Police in a supporting role. I am not going to give away the plot : figure out for yourselves how something as far apart as BPOs and Bitcoins can be connected into one; or read the book to find out more. { No, this is not repeat not a paid review; and I have spent the money from my pocket to purchase a book :) }! Let me just drop a hint : mixed up in all of this is a murder - more than one in fact; as well as political intrigue stretching across 2 nations. Another hint : it starts with two factors in 2 nations :  an ATM fraud in the USA, and an Online Gaming Company in India, which is trying to improve its games'  performance in the cyberworld. How does this connect? How does this involve murder? Read the book to find out more! Sorry! No hints from me! 



THE CHARACTERS


Aditya : He's back. The mentor of Swami and Sundeep; and one heck of a tough businessman. Excellent man-manager. Watch out, though. 

Swami : Straight as an arrow; smarter than most. Sad. 

Sundeep : Subdued, very subdued. And jealous. And Angry. 

Tanya : Wants blood as she loves her mom...

Malvika : ditched by one and all; CEO; anti Swami; and the Home Minister's... you never do know... wants the RBI top job

Matt : Class-A idiot, period. No brains, no guts, no knowledge. How this fool ever rose to the corner office is beyond me. Best suited to be a politician, or an asshole, or both

Adrian : tough, but humane. 360-degree thinker. 

Varun : Mystery man. Gaming Man. Son. Lover. Techie. Digital Marketing Ace. Not necessarily in that order.  


And many many more...



THE ANALYSIS


This is as near a flawless book as you are ever likely to find. While it delves into some relatively esoteric topics, the treatment is par excellence - the material is easy to grasp, and is presented in a simple language . The topics mentioned in the plot are central to the novel, and are presented in a fascinating explanatory style that takes nothing away from story, rather actually enhances the novel. 

The pace is decent - this is not a particularly fast-paced novel. Further, it weaves between India and the USA in alternate chapters. Having said that, the interleaving of location and sub-plot switches from one to the other is fabulously handled & is of a very high order. You do not lose the storyline in the constant changes from USA to India and back. 

The characterization is simply unbelievable; absolute best. The book reintroduces Swami, Aditya and Sundeep after a long time - and yet, the character treatment is flawless and in line with previous novels. This is, any way you look at  it, a tremendous achievement. As regards the others, the characterization is sufficient - just enough without being minimalist in any way. Characterization is an art - it has to be just right - too much detail {with respect to the base plot}, and you end up spoiling the show. This where the book scores : it establishes the character outline through reference, decisions and actions taken, building up a basic outline in your mind. It was a pleasure to note this in the book. 

There are no obvious  negatives - except one, which is a personal observation. Vulgarity, or sexual matter, seems a bit out-of-place in a couple of instances, which do nothing to take the story forward. In other places, they do contribute to the plot; but it has been overdone in one or two cases. Having said that, there is a complete absence of vulgar language. 

All  in all, I rate the book 5 stars out of 5. This book belongs in your collection...

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