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Book Review

Book Cover

God of War


Authors: Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardeman
Titan Books
RRP: £6.99, US $15.00
ISBN: 978 1 84856 718 4
Available 04 June 2010

A brutal warrior, Kratos, is a slave to the Gods of Olympus. Plagued by the nightmares of his past and yearning for freedom, the Ghost of Sparta would do anything to be free of his debt to the Gods. He is on the verge of losing all hope when the Gods give him one last task to end his servitude... He must destroy Ares, the God of War...

God of War is the novelisation of the first God of War game, written by Matthew Stover and Robert E. Vardman.

I have to admit up front that apart from a single dabble I never did play these games. The story follows our hero as he is sent on a mission to save Athens from the undead hoards of Ares, part of his unending feud with his sister Athena. Along the way he gets to kill many creatures and bed twins. As the story is just the first part of what is now a three part game it will come as no surprise that Kratos succeeds in his mission and wins a prize far greater than he could imagine.

I found it very difficult to warm to this book; it was obviously written with the gamer in mind. The part of the action involving the various political plots and counter plots between Athena and Ares was enjoyable to read, but Kratos as a character is a pretty unpalatable person.

Bound by chains to his swords, he thinks little of killing innocents to recharge his own strength, which makes it almost impossible to sympathise with Kratos as a character. Even more worrying for a novel is that the parts which do involve Kratos fighting sound more like a blow by blow account of the game than a more realistic portrayal of combat, at times whole paragraphs are given over to descriptions of his moves. Now if you’re a fan of the game you’re going to lap this up, but for the casual reader this feels like the authors are just in front of the game makings lists into sentences.

This then is both the strength and weakness of the novel as it will delight the game's fans whilst possibly leaving non fans cold.


Charles Packer

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