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Street Fighter: The Novel: Where Strength Lies Hardcover – December 19, 2017
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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As you can see in the photo, Round 8 comes directly after Round 6. There is nothing in between.
UPDATE: I contacted the folks at Udon Entertainment and they sent me a replacement copy free of charge. Thank you.
Now about the story itself, I thought it was pretty good. The artwork in each chapter looks really nice. Each chapter is comprised of a fight between two characters. This book seems like it would mostly captivate hardcore Street Fighter players so I think I can understand why non Street Fighter players wouldn't be interested. It gives you detailed description of their appearances as if you don't already know how they look like and it describes the moves they do in great detail. When a move is described, you realize what move it is and you say to yourself, "Hey! He's doing his Ultra Combo I." It actually goes deeper than just the moves the fighters perform. For example, during Gouken's fight with Evil Ryu, he reminisces about his past where he first met Ryu and started teaching him martial arts and the Ryu he is now fighting is a lot different than the Ryu that he remembers. It describes the whole concept of being strong and seeking strength and how one must overcome their obstacles and keep moving forward. Sometimes the strategy the fighters use against each other mirrors the strategy those pro players use in tournaments. For example, E. Honda baits Guile's Flash Kick then attempts to punish but then gets caught off guard by his second Flash Kick which is pretty much how those good Guile players play.
There are some typos and grammatical errors in a very few places as if this book was rushed but it doesn't really make the book unreadable so I'll overlook that flaw. My only gripe with this book is that most of the times there would be dialogues in between paragraphs (other than the name of the special move they perform) with no indication of who is saying that particular dialogue and it tends to get confusing.
So overall, if you're a hardcore Street Fighter fan and you enjoy reading, then this book is for you.
UPDATE: I did manage to find a copy at a local bookseller's and IT IS COMPLETE - has all of the chapters it's supposed to. So this doesn't seem to be a universal problem (the bookstore had 2 copies and both were fine). Your best bet is to find it in a brick and mortar, where you can check it out before purchasing!
In terms of the story itself, it's quite thin. I was so looking forward to a novel set in the Street Fighter universe! Unfortunately, this isn't what I was hoping for. There is no coherent story. Each chapter is a fight between two characters with minimal background. You can tell who is going to win the fight because the chapter is told from the winner's perspective. There's a reference to Ryu in each chapter and it mentions "strength" - that's about the extent of its coherence. Each chapter is about 30 pages of description of moves, stances, flipping through the air, and interjections like, "Gah!" or "Arrgh!" Honestly, it reads like a fifteen year old describing two friends playing the video game. Add in numerous grammatical errors, missing punctuation and missing or repeated words (here's an actual quote from p. 76: "...well-muscled by covered by a layer fat serving as armor...") and you have an embarrassment to the franchise that should never have been allowed to go to print. I love love love the Udon comics - especially the original run. They have so much more to offer than this disappointment. For those who genuinely love the games and would like to read fan fiction with detailed descriptions of the moves and fighting stances of the characters for pages on end, this should be an enjoyable read. For those who are looking for character development, plot, setting, problem/solution and a story arc, I can't say I've found any here yet...