“God is a Gamer” by Ravi Subramanian was much touted for being the first fiction based on bitcoins and it definitely caught the eye of many including me because of this.
Aditya Rao is the head of two companies – eTIOS to which New York International Bank (NYIB) outsources its security component and Indiscape a gaming company. His right hand is Sundeep. His close associate and ex-colleague Swami works for NYIB. Varun, Aditya’s estranged son comes back into his life because of his involvement with a Nigerian mob and subsequent arrest in Goa.
In Mumbai, Swami comes across phishing incidents that affect his bank’s cutomers and his boss Malvika shifts the blame on to him. Malvika’s daughter Tanya accidentally meets Varun in Goa and then again in Mumbai and their relationship strengthens.
In the US, Senator Gillian Tan, a close friend of the President, is assassinated in a carefully plotted bomb blast. FBI Agents Adrian Scott and Tony are on the case. Mike Hendricks, chief of staff of the President of the United States of America is closely following the case.
Then there is Nikki Tan, Gillian Tan’s wife and their daughter Gloria. Josh, a Stanford alumnus is the admin of Cotton Trail a virtual network for peddling in drugs, which can be connected only through TOR or the onion router.
With such a plethora of characters, Ravi Subrmanian has woven a tale, with a few murders, lots of action and intrigue, and of course bitcoins liberally splattered through the book.
+ + +
- Racy and well-paced.
- The author has managed to maintain good suspense.
- As a woman, and technology lover, I find that people usually think that women and technology do not go together. I was glad to see that atleast one woman character is shown to have some amount of expertise in technology to the extent of being one of the founders of bitcoins and using TOR.
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- There are too many characters. The author could have spent some more time on the characterization so that when the complex denouement happens, it is convincing. I was not fully convinced with the denouement because the characterization did not completely support the revelations at the end.
? ? ?
- The plot certainly has some bitcoins mentioned here and there, but whether bitcoins is central and inevitable to the plot is debatable.