Reading age: 7+
Interest age: 7-12
♥ Welsh Original ♥
Graphic Novel… what’s one of those?
First thing’s first - don't let anyone tell you that reading comics is a bad thing, because that's absolute nonsense! Believe it or not, there are lots of adults who like to read them too, so they are definitely not just things for little children.
This is a graphic novel according to its description on Gwales. There aren’t many of them in Welsh yet (although there should be!) but to explain it simply, they’ve put the comic series that appeared regularly in the Mellten magazine, together into one neat little package – this high-quality book. Today's readers are spoilt compared to what was available years ago! I'll be very pleased to give this pride of place on my bookshelf at HQ Bookstore.
What’s it about then?
Fast-forward about 2,000 years into the future. A big space race is about to start, the Manta Cup 4002, and there’s a strange bunch of racers from the planet New Wales who are ready to compete for the first time (isn’t it great to see that in this version of the future, that Wales is still here and going strong!)
Iola, the pilot, and her motley crew Meew, Alun, Tezu, and Branwen have only one desire – to win the space rally. Will they be successful? I’ve got to say, judging by their wooden spaceship, I’m not so sure!
While the inexperienced competitors are busy trying not to end up in the middle of the sun, there are some dodgy goings-on and sinister plans working in the shadows. Who are the mysterious people who are up to no good? What does ‘the machine’ do? And what does an angry microwave have to do with it all?
So, should I read Rali’r Gofod or not?
Of course, you should! If you – like me – love sci-fi adventures with plenty of humour, this would appeal to you. There are many elements that remind me of Star Wars, Star Trek and many other shows I normally enjoy. Indeed, the Manta 4002 race isn't too dissimilar to the pod racing seen in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (a film that gets way too much stick by the way!).
The standard of the illustrations is excellent – colourful, full of detail and just looking really cool! Because it's basically a long comic, the reading is divided into small bits of dialogue, which is great if you prefer less heavy reading (but get this - it all adds up in the end, so reading a comic does count as real reading!)
I know I’ve been like a broken record, harping on about the lack of choice of books for boys aged 7-11, but it's true. We’ve got to bring out more things that will appeal to them, so I'm very happy to see this series blast-off!