Title- God is a Gamer: Is revenge a crime?
Author- Ravi Subramanian
Publisher- Penguin Books, India
Price- Rs 299
Ravi Subramanian is now a well-known name in Indian fiction and he seems to have taken his job as a thriller writer more seriously than ever before with his book “God is a Gamer” that I have just finished on request. Yes, it is an autographed copy and it is an honour to having been invited to review it.
About the cover-
A silhouette of a man standing in front of the White House adorns the cover of the page. The tagline “Is revenge a crime?” raises questions which cannot be answered by just flipping through the initial pages of the novel which is the sign of a good thriller. The introduction at the back also reveals almost nothing about the plot and if anything, it only adds to the mystery. The fonts could have been less generic though.
About the plot and characters-
The book opens in a fragmented manner with different chapters opening in different settings and the tying up of all those fragments is what constitutes most of the novel. The concept of bitcoins and the details of various other news-y stuff like wikileaks and VPNs are educative and make the novel more contemporary. It cannot be said that the novel is in the unputdownable category as it is not your proper thriller per se. It has murders and intrigue but there are so many things happening in it that you might need to put it down, get some sleep and catch up with all the happenings after a break maybe.
The main characters of the novel are Aditya, Swami, Sundeep, Adrian, Varun, Tanya with a longer list of side characters like Swami, Malvika, Stan, Mike, Gilian, Gloria, Josh aka Rudra etc. My point is that there are one too many characters so, it is virtually too difficult to predict the ending and to point out who is the quintessential “bad guy”. The long cast might be the weak point of the novel but it more than makes up for it in the end.
About the book
Penguin has done a good job with the editing overall. There were no printing errors and the pages along with the cover are of good quality. The writing is tight and the words are not forced. The language is pretty fluid as the novel switches back and forth from America to India. It seems to be written with a furious pace and then edited and compiled sensibly as there are many things that are at first left hanging in mid air and then settled before the end. The best part of this novel is getting to the later pages. The initial buildup and suspense might get tedious but it all becomes worthwhile once the clarification session begins. Do not try to read the last pages first like a greedy reader as that’s where all the fun is concentrated.
Just to add as a footnote, the novel could have been further edited to streamline the plot at certain places but I think the author must have meant to create the chaos and only the patient readers would get through past 270 pages to find the real treat.