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Acorna [Paperback]

Anne Mccaffrey
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 21 1998 Acorna
"Something's Alive In There!"

She was just a little girl, with a tiny horn in the center of her forehead, funny-looking feet, beautiful silver hair, and several curious powers: the ability to purify air and water, make plants grow, and heal scars and broken bones. A trio of grizzled prospectors found her drifting in an escape pod amid the asteroids, adopted her, and took her to the bandit planet Kezdet, a place where no questions are asked and the girl might grow up free.

But Kezdet has its own dark secret. The prosperity of the planet is based on a hideous trade in child slave labor, administered by "The Piper" -- a mystery man with special plans for Acorna and her powers. But free little girls have a way of growing into freedom-loving young women, and Acorna has special plans all her own. . .

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Product Description

From Library Journal

Found in a survival pod in space by prospectors, the infant Acorna soon exhibits the ability to analyze deficiencies in plants by taste, purify water and air, and heal. Taken to the planet Kezdet to avoid scientists who want to study her, Acorna discovers barbaric child-labor practices and vows to rescue the children. McCaffrey and Ball have created a magical alien in this fantasy/science fiction story. Recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Three crusty young space prospectors recover a small survival pod containing a toddler with strange hands and feet, silvery curls, and a tiny horn in the center of her forehead. They name her Acorna and learn she has some unusual powers, such as abilities to purify water and air, to make plants grow, and to heal injuries. When the three take her "planetside," Acorna is commandeered by scientists who want to study her as an anomaly. With some help from sympathizers, the prospectors manage, however, to whisk Acorna away to the planet Kezdet--"a known cover for all sorts of thieves, desperadoes, con men, and cheats"--where questions are not asked. But they soon discover Kezdet secretly deals in child slave labor, a practice Acorna determines to stop. Combining colorful characterizations, lots of fast-paced action, and a decided sense of menace, all leavened by a heavy dose of humor as the three "uncles" try to keep a rein on and protect their charge, this is entertaining fare, indeed, for sf fans. Sally Estes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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At first Gill assumed it was just another bit of space debris, winking as it turned around its own axis and sending bright flashes of reflected light down where they were placing the cable around AS-64-B1.3. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Misadventures of a unicorn girl July 7 2004
A trio of good-natured space miners picks up an errant escape pod which happens to contain an orphan girl of an unknown alien race. Her features are slightly equine, and she has a horn growing from her forehead. They name her Acorna and raise her as their own. Unfortunately, they have trouble keeping her under wraps, and they find themselves having to prevent her from falling into the hands of everyone from the scientists who want to study her, to a "collector" with an interest in rare creatures.
Taking refuge on the planet Kezdet, they make the acquaintance of a wealthy businessman of Chinese descent, who recognizes Acorna as the Kirin of ancient mythology. He is on a mission to end Kezdet's underground child slave trade, and when Acorna gets involved, she makes her most dangerous enemies yet.
I used to be a huge McCaffrey fan, and I've read a considerable portion of her work, including much of the Pern series, The Ireta Adventure, the Crystal Singer trilogy, and the original Ship and Pegasus novels. I've moved away from her work in recent years, but the beautiful cover on this one drew me in (Ignore the cheap CG background.) While not abysmal like Crystal Line was, Acorna is definitely one of her weaker efforts. The characters don't have much depth - the title character least of all - and any personality traits they are given are repeated to the point of cliché. (I lost count of how many times one character "blushed the color of his beard.") The story itself isn't particularly gripping. The confrontation with the book's chief villain towards the end is hugely anticlimactic. Even the reality of child slavery is watered down, though the thematic cries of "the children, the children!" did grow wearisome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Acorna Dec 30 2003
By Kat,Kat
Acorna's parents died to give her a chance to escape the Khlevii invastion. They sacrificed themselves and set her on a space pod out for someone else to find her. That someone is Calum, Gill, and Rafik. They are three space miners out mining when they find a strange pod floating randomly in space. Taking it aboard they learn to love Acorna as their own, but there are those who would wish to hurt her as she is the only one of her species ever made known to the world. For Acorna has special unicorn powers. She can heal people, she can detect poisons, and a few other abilities. Acorna also has the softest heart around, she can't stand to see other people in pain. So when Acorna hears that children are being abused with hard labor on a planet called Kezdet it's Acorna to the rescue. But how can she help when there are thousands and thousands of children in need and she can't get to them?
This was a wonderful book, I couldn't stop reading to the very end.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed... Aug. 11 2003
By A Customer
As a fan who has been enjoying McCaffrey's stories for over 10 years, I found this book to be far below what I've come to expect from her writing. The various series she has published - from Pern, The Rowan, Crystal Singer, Dinasour Planet, even Freedom and Brain Ships - are all well written and utilize a similar style and level of competence. The stories on Acorna, however, seem to be written by someone else entirely (her son, perhaps?). I don't know how to describe it other than by saying it is far below her usual standards, with childish dialogue, nonexistant plot, and flat characters. If you don't like this book, don't give up on her; go read one of her other series (Dragonsinger is a great intro to the world of Pern), because she really is a talented writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yay another Anne McCaffrey world to adventure in! July 27 2003
I'm a devoted fan to Anne McCaffrey despite her tendency to skim over details that might make her fiction more substantial. She's fun, heart-warming, and tells a good tale. Plus, she lets the girls be the heroes of her stories. My favorite is still the Dragonriders of Pern (read it four times now), but this book was good enough to get me hooked on this series. Acorna is a light read, a sweet protagonist, a new world to explore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, McCaffrey does it again July 14 2003
I am very happy with this new series about acorna, again McCaffrey makes a world for us to which we can go at the turning of a page. She is able to get the atmoshere of the space, and the home world of acorna (kornya). As a orphan she is found in space by some rough neck space cowbaoys, who have their hearts in the right place. as a result she rows up with serveral knowledge about minerals...always useful!
Acorna then goes on to capture our hearts in the other books about her. A thrilling read...much enjoyed!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing June 20 2003
By A Customer
I am sorry to say, but this is one of the weakest McCaffrey books I have read. Most of the plot is conveyed via clumsy dialogue, and the plot seems to be jerked around in a way that is contrived and too coincidental to be believable, even for fantasy. The ending is just as flimsy, and left me asking "¿that's it?" If you would like to read a good McCaffrey book, look to the Crystal Singer series or the Dragon series. If you see this one on the shelf at the bookstore, leave it there.
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I am a big McCaffery fan, and read these books with interest, but unfortunately not before I had given a set to a 12-yr old girl relative. Had I done so, I would not have given them as a gift.
These books have some pretty strong sexual connotations and situations not suitable for pre-teens, including references to child abuse, prostitution, exploitation and s-m practices including very suggestive dialog between unsavory characters.
For more mature readers, they are an entertaining though unchallenging adventure.
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