My Rating ***
‘God is a Gamer’ is the sixth novel by Ravi Subramanian. The author has been described as ‘the John Grisham of banking’ by the Wall Street Journal as all of his works revolve around crimes related to banking in one way or the other. Therefore, I got quite excited when I got an opportunity to read and review this book because I love reading John Grisham. For me, John Grisham is the best when it comes to legal thrillers. I was also aware of the fact that Ravi Subramanian’s earlier books have garnered rave reviews. Additionally, this was going to be my first reading not only of Ravi Subramanian’s work but also of thrillers related to banking. So, you can understand my enthusiasm. The book was a fast read and I finished reading it in a couple of sittings.
‘God is a Gamer’ is a crime thriller strategized in a global arena. The story moves from Washington’s Congress to Delhi’s finance ministry; and from the beaches of Goa to the corporate boardrooms of Mumbai. The plot involves the death of an eminent Senate member of US, an ATM heist in New York, intricacies of banking world, and laptop users getting burnt due to overheating of their machines. And, there are bitcoins, a lot of bitcoins. In fact, the book has been advertised as the first ever bitcoin thriller.
I was so tempted to give this book four stars but finally settled by giving three. There were certain reasons for this. For me, there are certain things which make a book ‘a really good thriller’. First, a good thriller should have convincing and compelling characters in unbelievable yet fascinating situations. I found that there were too many characters in this book, some of which didn’t even contribute to the main storyline. In addition, such a large number of characters make the story not only confusing but also clumsy at times. Furthermore, I felt that enough attention was not paid on the development of certain characters. Second, a good thriller should leave readers stunned and amazed at having the rug spectacularly pulled out from under their feet. There’s nothing in this book like a stunning twist or shock to keep readers flipping, clicking or swiping pages. And, third and most importantly, the story should grip you like a vice, never knowing what’s coming until the very end. This book starts at a slow pace and started griping you once you finished reading about 100 pages. A good thriller should grip you from its first page itself.
However, there are certain things which should be appreciated. The language is crisp and lucid. The chapters are very short and make it an easy read. The incorporation of Socrates’s death and John Keats’ poem in the main storyline add definite charm. The author should also be praised for keeping the technical details to a minimum as such details make a good story tedious and boring. The climax of the book has been done beautifully and will be liked by many readers. And, if the ending is good, then the book is certainly a good reading.
Overall, it was not a bad read. I would also frankly accept that the author has brought a new genre in the Indian writing industry.
Certainly looking forward to read Ravi Subramanian’s earlier work….:)