Nikki's Reviews > The Ninth Wave

The Ninth Wave by Russell Celyn Jones
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's review
Jul 20, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: welsh-writing, based-on-myth-saga-etc, speculative-fiction, post-apocalyptic
Read on July 20, 2011

The Ninth Wave is a retelling of the First Branch of the Mabinogion, the story of Pwyll, Lord of Dyfed. The retelling is set somewhere in the future from now: a sort of post-apocalyptic world where fossil fuel has run out and everything is returning to a medieval, feudal state. For that reason, Jon Boden's 'Songs from the Floodplain' made an excellent soundtrack.

Lord Pwyll is based essentially on Prince Harry, as the afterword states. Everything's modern and rational, with no real magic in it at all -- CCTV and poison in the Starbucks frappucino. I didn't think it worked. I didn't believe in it at all: it just sped through the story, hitting vague similarities, shoehorning in the recognisable details.

The most powerful part of it is Pwyll and Pryderi surfing together at the end, and Rhiannon's grief after Pryderi's disappearance and the way she and Pwyll try to keep some hope alive, together. There are powerful moments, some good descriptions, but overall, it felt very thin to me.
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