I am currently reading the Kindle version (on my iPhone), and I am impressed. I tried myself to put words to describe the action/adventuring going on in the game on paper/word processor, but my feeble attempts pale in comparison to the story that Mr. Vardeman and Mr. Stover have come up with.
I also considered doing an original GoW story (set at some point prior to GoW:CoO) for NaNoWriMo last November, but ended up attempting a Nathan Drake/Uncharted adventure instead. That story still sits on a flash drive somewhere, as yet unfinished (though I did reach the goal of 50k words). This novel gives me a pretty good jumping off point for my own literary adventuring, possibly for NaNo 2010.
As for the novel itself: There are some pretty significant differences between the game and the novel, but I think the story flows better the way it was written. It does a nice job of avoiding all the backtracking that was done while playing the game. I am enjoying the fact that Kratos' back story is being revealed at roughly the same pace it was revealed in the first game, too. The glimpses into the reactions on Olympus and interactions among various Olympians are a nice touch, too. You don't necessarily have to have played the game to understand what is going on.
Many thanks to the authors for such a fine novelization of one of my favorite franchises.
I hope you still pay some attention to this thread and thank you for your participation on the forums. I would love to know a couple of things about the novel and your thoughts. I would like to say first, that I enjoyed the read and I particularly enjoyed the sections with the gods of Olympus. I found it to be an area which really opens up the mythology of the world that surrounds and includes Kratos. It gave a larger scale and depth to the fiction as well as the motivations of the powers behind Kratos' strings.
I was very curious as to the decision to leave out the god Hades. I was wondering if that was an artistic choice or an editorial one. I felt that was a significant omission due to his (and his realm's) relative importance throughout the God of War series. As a simple example, Hades' gift could have been considered quite useful in the multiple Kratos battle from a narrative stand point; perhaps more so than Artemis' gift's use earlier in the story, (although the passage with Artemis and Athena was excellent and filled in a narrative and motivation lacking in the game).
I was also surprised that the "Sword of Athena" which Kratos traverses and later uses to kill Ares (in the game) was omitted as well. It also comes into play very significantly in God of War 2. Again as this occurs at the end I wonder if it was an artistic choice or editorialized.
I understand in game play doesn't necessarily translate into exciting text, but I was curious as to the decision making process (to omit or not ot omit) those particular sections of the game story.
I would like to thank you again for your creativity and an enjoyable read.
Mr. Vardeman I've read the book and it was a great read and I look forward very much to the sequel. I'd just like some clarification on some things though. I know you addressed the question of 'canon' and I'm inclined to agree that it mostly is, but for the specific (and relatively few) instances where there are contradictions between the book and game (such as on specific portrayals of Kratos' traits/abilities and more importantly plot ommissions), the game would take priority right? Other than that I loved the background stories involving the Gods and their interactions and I feel they make the story of the game so much more complete and sensible.