Sunday, November 2, 2014

God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian - Book Review

God is a Gamer is a financial thriller novel by Ravi Subramanian.  This is the 6th book I am reading by the same author. However, this time is very special because I got the book for a Book Review program of BlogAdda. I was thrilled to see the autograph of Ravi Subramanian in the front page of the book.

Now let us look at the plot. Fraudsters are always looking for a way. How easy it is if you facilitate money transfer and other internet transactions but maintain anonymity? What if no agency or organization was controlling the flow of money or monitoring your transactions? Then people will create a new or separate world that can exploit the vulnerabilities of the free system. Bitcoins and The Onion Router(TOR) facilitate such transactions and this forms the background of the story. There is also a mention of an website named Cotton Trail that sells banned goods. Payments to Cotton Trail are made via bitcoins.

A high profile politician, Gillian Tan, in the White House is killed in a car crash. He was involved in discussions regarding bitcoins and South Asian policies.  Investigating officer Adrian is trying to find out the real motive behind the murder.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai,  the Chairman of NYIB bank, Malavika, commits suicide by jumping from the 34th floor of a hotel during her birthday party. A debate goes on about if the incident is a suicide or murder. Her close connections with a finance minister are taken as a lead.

We have five characters from the book, If God was a Banker, come alive in this book – Aditya, Swami, Sundeep, Kalpana, and Natasha. Aditya, the owner of eTIOS, a banking BPO, confesses that he is a divorcee. One day, he gets a call from Goa from his estranged son Varun, telling that he is under police custody.

Varun joins his father’s business. He tries to expand his father’s gaming business. He creates a new game called Townsville, tweaks download stats using bots, and manages to come number one in the game app store market.

A series of NYIB’s ATMs in USA are looted. The blame falls on Aditya’s company eTIOS as they take care of all backend operations of NYIB.

Is there a connection between the ATM loot, the murder of Gillian Tan, and the death of Malavika?  Based on internet entries, the investigators name Aditya as the culprit. Then they name Malavika’s daughter Tanya as the culprit. Is Adita or Tanya the culprit or is there more story behind the murders and heist? Is the ongoing relationship between Varun and Tanya, true? Why is a senior banker, Swami, killed by a truck? You have to read “God is a Gamer” to know more. The book has an exciting finish.

As in any Ravi Subramaniam’s book, there are detailed mentions of financial transactions and financial calculations. Business plans are laid out in detail. A lot of explanation is given about the technicalities of bitcoins, video game malware, and free money transactions.  It is really interesting to know how bitcoins work.  The book runs to 310 pages and is priced at Rs.299.

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

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