Gwalia ~ Llŷr Titus

Updated: Oct 31, 2019

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"Antur yn y gofod, archwilio bydoedd estron rhyfeddol"


"Space adventure discovering strange new worlds."


Gwasg: Gomer

Cyhoeddwyd: 2015

ISBN: 978-1785620492

Lefel: ❖ ❖ ❖

--Cymraeg Gwreiddiol--


Stori gyda iaith naturiol, ond fwy addas i ddarllenwyr hyn

Story with easy-to-read, natural language, but most suitable for older readers


Dyfarniad/Verdict: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Dyma i chi adolygiad gonest o nofel gyntaf Llŷr Titus, Gwalia, sy’n ychwanegiad hir-ddisgwyliedig i’r genre ffuglen wyddonol yn y Gymraeg. Dw i ddim yn expert o bell ffordd, a megis dechau ar fy siwrnai o ddarganfod llyfrau Cymraeg ydw i, ond dw i’n dal i deimlo fod ’na fwlch yn y farchnad Gymraeg i lyfrau o’r math yma – a ’da ni angen mwy! Awduron – ewch ati i ’sgwennu mwy plîs!

Ers pan oeddwn i’n 9 oed, pan ddaeth Star Trek: Voyager ar y teledu, dw i wedi bod yn obsessed efo Sci-Fi. Dw i wrth fy modd efo unrhyw beth i wneud gyda’r gofod. Star Trek, Star Wars... you name it. Felly, roedd hi’n reit amlwg fod y nofel yma’n mynd i apelio ata i. Ond, mae’r ffaith fy mod i wedi gwylio cymaint o raglenni ffuglen wyddonol yn golygu fod gan Llŷr Titus dipyn o waith i drio fy mhlesio; roedd gen i ddisgwyliadau annheg o uchel a dweud y gwir.


Stori antur ydi hon. Mae’n dilyn hanes Elan, merch sy’n byw ac yn gweithio ar fwrdd llong ofod y ‘Gwalia’. Yn wahanol i straeon Sci-Fi rhaglenni fel Star Wars a Star Trek lle mae’r cymeriadau naill ai yn rhan o frwydr neu ar fwrdd llong ofod sy’n archwilio’r gofod, llong fasnachol ydi’r Gwalia, sy’n symud a danfon cargo o blaned i blaned. Felly, yn hytrach na’r Milenium Falcon yn brwydro’r gelynion yn Star Wars: Force Awakens, mae’r Gwalia yn debycach i Parcel Force. Ond, peidiwch â phoeni, dydi hynny’n amharu dim ar yr antur. Yn syth wrth i mi ddarllen am y Gwalia dw i’n meddwl am Futurama, y cartŵn gan Matt Groening oedd yn dilyn anturiaethau doniol Philip J Fry, y delivery boy bach syml, gyda’i griw o gymeriadau eclectig ac unigryw.


Mae’r nofel yn dechrau trwy fynd â ni yn syth i ganol y digwydd - In Media res fel petai (Lladin: “in the midst of things”) - ac mae o fel gwylio crash scene cyffrous mewn ffilm sy’n digwydd cyn yr opening credits. I feddwl mai darllen am drafferthion yr Athro Hans Reiter roeddwn i, wrth i’w long ofod blymio tuag at y blaned, roedd y dweud yn sinematig ei naws, yn enwedig gyda’r effaith cyfri lawr y mae’r awdur yn ei ddefnyddio.



Rydan ni wedyn yn neidio i’r presennol ym mhennod 2, ac yn cyfarfod Elan, (hi yw prif gymeriad y stori, - wna i ddim mynd mor bell â dweud ei bod hi’n arwres, achos dw i’m yn meddwl fod na un yn y stori hon. Ar ddechrau’r stori, mae hi’n dod drosodd ychydig bach yn anaeddfed i fod ar long ofod, gan ei bod hi’n paffio ac yn pwdu y rhan fwyaf o’r amser. Rydan ni hefyd yn cyfarfod cymeriadau eraill o’r bennod hon ymlaen, fel Capten Ari, Dewyrth, Titsh, Doctor Jên, Mel a Tom. Mae ’na deimlad cartrefol ar fwrdd y Gwalia a phawb fel un teulu mawr. Mae popeth yn dda, yn rhy dda, ac roeddwn i'n dechrau meddwl fod rhywbeth yn siŵr o fynd o’i le yn hwyr neu’n hwyrach.


Arafodd y stori gryn dipyn yma, wrth i Llŷr Titus ein cyflwyno i’r cymeriadau i gyd a disgrifio eu rhinweddau a’u bywydau ar fwrdd y llong. Mae’n cymryd ei amser i ddisgrifio sut beth yw bywyd yn y dyfodol – ac mae’n gwneud hyn yn dda iawn gan roi llawer o fanylion sy’n help i ni ddychmygu’r byd hwn. Rhaid i mi ddweud mai yma y gwnes i ddechrau diflasu mymryn, gan fy mod yn awyddus i’r stori symud yn ei blaen, ond dw i’n deall bod angen cyflwyno’r cymeriadau i gyd cyn i'r stori ddatblygu. Llyfr ydi o wedi’r cwbl, a rhaid disgrifio er mwyn i ni fedru creu’r byd futuristic gyda’n dychymyg. Roedd y trip i blaned Kansas gyda’r gwartheg yn teimlo fel tipyn o distraction oddi wrth y prif stori, ond roedd yn gyfle da i gyflwyno Milo a Rob, sef y ddau gymeriad sy’n gwrthdaro ag Elan.



Drwyddi, mae Llŷr Titus yn llwyddo i’n bachu gyda’r stori gefndirol am yr Athro Hans Reiter, a’r darganfyddiad mawr y mae o wedi’i wneud. Erbyn y diwedd roeddwn i ar bigau’r drain eisiau gwybod mwy amdano. Pwy yn union oedd o? Beth wnaeth o ei ddarganfod? Lle mae o? Heb eich siomi gormod, tydan ni ddim yn cael atebion i’r cwestiynau yma, ac os rhywbeth, mae’r llyfr yn gorffen gan ein gadael gyda mwy fyth o gwestiynau. Posibilrwydd am sequel tybed? Gobeithio wir.


Wna i ddim sbwylio pethau, ond am ryw reswm neu’i gilydd, mae’r prif gymeriadau yn mynd yn styc, yn marooned ar blaned estron. Rŵan mae’r stori wir yn symud yn ei blaen. Llwydda’r awdur i adeiladu’r byd estron rhyfeddol yma’n wych, gyda chreaduriaid od fel octopysau’r coed. But all is not as it seems. A diolch byth am hynny neu diflas iawn fasa petha! Mae digon o beryglon a phethau dirgel i ddal ein sylw yn yr ail ran.


Daw’n amlwg fod yr awdur wedi gwneud ei waith cartref a’i fod yn gwybod cryn dipyn am Sci-Fi. Mae’r stori a’r disgrifiadau’n llifo, does dim byd yn teimlo'n forced (sy’n gallu digwydd pan mae rhywun yn sgwennu am rywbeth sy’n anghyfarwydd iddyn nhw) ac mae’n addas iawn ar gyfer y gynulleidfa darged. Mae o’n cyflwyno cysyniadau eithaf cymhleth ar brydiau, ond mae ganddo ffydd y bydd y darllenwyr yn eu deall. Dydi o byth yn patronising.

Fe wnes i addo y byddai’r adolygiad yn un gonest yn do? Felly, os oes yna wendid yn perthyn i'r nofel, efallai mai’r diffyg datblygiad yn y cymeriadau yw hynny. Ydi’r profiadau wedi eu newid nhw? Erbyn cyrraedd diwedd stori, dw i eisiau teimlo fy mod i'n gwybod mwy am y cymeriadau, a’u bod nhw erbyn hyn yn hen ffrindiau cyfarwydd, ond erbyn cyrraedd diwedd Gwalia dw i’n dal i deimlo nad ydw i’n nabod y cymeriadau’n iawn. Dw i isio gwybod mwy am eu cefndir nhw. Sut ddaru Milo, Rob ac Elen ddod yn rhan o griw’r Gwalia? Mae ’na gyfle yma i lenwi’r bylchau, a dw i’n eithaf sicr y bydd o’n gwneud hyn yn y nofel nesaf. Croesi bysedd eniwê.


Dw i’n ddiolchgar iddo am ddau reswm. Yn gyntaf, am ysgrifennu llyfr ffuglen wyddonol Gymraeg newydd a gwreiddiol, roedd gwir angen un, ac roedd yn llwyr haeddu ennill gwobr Tir na n-Og. Yn ail, am agor fy llygaid i’r byd llyfrau Cymraeg. Dw i isio darllen mwy rŵan a gweld beth arall sydd allan yno (yn debyg iawn i syniad y stori mewn ffordd).


Here is an honest review of Llŷr Titus’s first novel, ‘Gwalia’ a long-needed addition to the Welsh Sciene Fiction genre. Now I don’t proclaim to be an expert at all, as I’m only just starting my journey of discovery of Welsh books, but even so, I feel that there’s agap in the market here and that we are crying out for more novels of this type! Authors– please go and write some more!


Since I was 9 years old, I remember when Star Trek: Voyager came to BBC2 and I was hooked. I’ve been obsessed with Sci-Fi ever since. Star Trek. Star Wars. You name it. So, it was a pretty safe bet that I would like this new novel. But, in another way, the fact that I’d watched so much Sci-Fi on tv meant that poor Llŷr Titus had a pretty tough job to try and impress me with this book and I may even have had unfairly high expectations.


At it’s core, this is a tale of and adventure in space. Of that there is no doubt. It follows the trials and tribulations of Elan, a girl who lives on board the ‘Gwalia,’ spaceship. But this story doesn’t quite follow the conventional Star Wars or Star Trek path, because the ship is a commercial cargo ship, that delivers much-needed supplies between the planets. So, instead of a Millennium Falcon battling it out against villains in epic space duels like in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, what we get here is more akin to Parcel Force. But fear not, because there’s plenty of action to be had here. As I read, I instantly think of ‘Futurama’, the other cartoon series by Simpsons creator, Matt Groening. That followed Philip J Fry, the hapless delivery boy with his band of unusual and eclectic shipmates. A very similar premise.



The novel gets to it straight away- In Media res you could say. (Latin: “in the midst of things”) It’s like watching those high-octane crash scenes in films that happen just before the opening credits. To think that I was just reading about Prof. Hans Reiter’s troubles as his ship hurtled towards a planet, the writing was cinematic in nature, especially with the countdown style the author used to convey time running out.


As we jump to the present, we meet Elan, (I’ll say main character – I won’t go as far as saying hero, because I don’t really think there is one). At the start of the story, she comes across a little immature with her fighting and sulking. There are other characters too such as Capten Ari, Dewyrth, Titsh, Doctor Jén, Mel and Tom. There’s a strong sense of family on the ship and one gets the feeling that everything is going too well and that something’s about to go wrong.


The story slowed down quite a bit here as the author introduces us to the other characters and describes their daily routines on board. It takes time to build up the future world and he obviously knows how to do this. I have to say, it’s here that I got just a little bored, as I was keen to see the story progress, but I understand why he takes his time. It is a book after all, and needs to use words to convey this futuristic world to the readers. The trip to Kansas planet with the cows felt a little distracting, but it was a good chance to introduce the two supporting characters, Milo and Rob, who clash with Elan.

Throughout, Llŷr Titus has us hooked with his background story about Professor Hans Reiter and his epic discovery. By the end, I was dying to know more about this. Who was he? What else did he find? Where is he now? Without spoiling things, we don’t really get to find answers and indeed, we probably end the story with more questions that ever. The possibility of a sequel perhaps? I hope so.


For one reason or another, the main characters find themselves stuck on an alien planet. Now the story gets going again. The author has the skill here to world-build and describe in detail the planet and it’s weird and wonderful alien environment. His imagination knows no bounds with tree octopus creatures and the like. But all is not as it seems. And thank god for that, otherwise it could be quite boring! There are plenty of dangers and mysteries that the young characters must survive in the second half.

It’s clear that the author’s done his homework and he is knowledgeable in this field. The story and it’s vivid descriptions flow naturally, they are not forced (like a writer trying to write about something they are not familiar with). It’s perfect for the young-ish target audience, and although it introduces some quite complex scientific concepts at times, there are clear explanations and a faith in the reader to understand. The author never patronises the audience as some do.



I promised this would be an honest review didn’t I? So, here goes. If I had to name a shortcoming of this book, I’d perhaps say that there’s a lack of character development throughout the story. Did their experiences on the planet change them somehow? I like to think that I know the characters better after reading a novel, and that they are more like old familiar friends, but on this occasion, I felt that I hadn’t really gotten to know them as much as I would have liked. I want to know more of their backstories. How did Milo, Rob and Elan come to find themselves on the Gwalia? There’s plenty of room to fill in these gaps, and I’m sure he will be doing this in the next novel. Cross my fingers anyway.


I’m grateful to Llyr for two reasons. First, for writing a Welsh Sci-Fi novel that was much needed, and worthy of winning the Tir na n-Og prize. Secondly, for opening my eyes to the world of Welsh books. I now want to go out and read more, to discover what else is out there. (Much like the characters in our story.)

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