God of War by Robert E. Vardeman and Matthew W. Stover

This game-based novel tells the same story in the first installment of the game series. The book gives a different perspective of the gods and Kratos plus more that only written material can offer which the experience of playing Kratos cannot.

Anyone who's played the game will be familiar with Kratos' background and his motives for serving the gods --- that is to rid himself of the terrible visions of his monstrous acts. In this book, Kratos will follow the same path that the Kratos in the video game took; he will battle the same foes and use the same weapons and magic. This time however, the reader gets more intimate with Kratos' thoughts and emotions.

The authors did a great job in explaining things that we usually take for granted in the game such as the acquisition and carrying of the items (how does he keep all the weapons), Kratos' ability to absorb orbs (of course this is to replenish health, mana and rage meter in the game but how to explain that in a book?), and Kratos' thoughts and expressions whenever he has to fight or kill enemies and civilians. One great addition in the story that was not very clear in the game is Athena's motives. The other characters' roles are highlighted as well. Whereas the game focused more on Ares' role as the antagonist, the book is a reminder that there's more to Athena's plans of stopping Ares' destruction of her city as will be seen in the next two games. The Olympians are more than just elusive patrons and helpers of Kratos, but are more involved in his adventures than was hinted at in the game. One important line also points to one crucial detail that caused tension between the gods and Kratos, that's when Athena told Zeus that "Kratos was always meant to be the weapon that killed a god."

Overall, the portrayal of Kratos' character is consistent with that of the game except for a few disturbing moments that he smiled.

Rating: 9 out of 10