• Book Review: 'On Matissia Wings' by Marie J. S. Phillips

    On Matissia Wings is the first book of Marie J.S. Phillips's High-Fantasy series, The Furlites of Aroriel. It's a fast-paced epic adventure told from the perspective of furlites, unique creatures with a saurian body, fangs, talons, and white and red-gold fur (as shown in the cover art and other artwork illustrated by Phillips), and they're on the verge of discovering human civilization in a world alien to them, Earth. Not a lot of authors take this kind of approach.

    Although the furlites are alien in appearance, their mannerisms and social conventions are human-like. The story begins in Aroriel, the homeworld of the furlites: Commander Geupetus of House Darius, and his children Murkuria, Thorius, and Elara. Their space adventures are sweeping with tension, and things become even more exciting once they reach Earth, when they explore and get into the dangers that remind me of James Cameron's Avatar. The heroes are naturally adventurous, and their personalities are what make their space quests more interesting.

    One of the most exciting scenes is when the twins Murkuria and Thorius steal their aunt's space shuttle. Pet-lovers or Pokemon fans would probably be charmed by Marukuria's pet Matissia, Iggie. It's fun reading about Murkuria's fascination with animals, and how the furlites interact with the humans as they fill their curiosity. With the distinguishable voices of the furlites, the dialogues between them are often amusing and humorous. Phllips is excellent in describing the settings of her novel; the environments in Aroriel and Earth are rich with details, many of which are flourished with sharp imagery and scientific jargon well-explained in footnotes throughout the novel. It is unquestionable that Phillips is a wiz in the field of science. The nature is always vivid. Here's one of the most memorable passages:
    The trees here grew straight and tall, not gnarled and twisted like the conifers that blanketed the Algol Mountains. Even the Sepur trees near his home did not grow so straight. It promised an intriguing puzzle for the biologists. Many of the straight trunks out there thrust naked white branches into the sky. Deciduous trees, no doubt, and of a species that did not exist on his homeworld.
    Although On Matissia Wings may feel lengthy to some readers, the wealth of scenes that visually strike our imaginations would give you a cinematic experience not many Fantasy films deliver these days. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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