Acorna: The Unicorn Girl Mass Market Paperback – May 30 2000
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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 the Hardcover edition.
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 the Hardcover edition.See all Product Description
Inside This Book(Learn More)
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
This book was recommended to me by a highly respected friend who reads authors such as McKinley and Tolkien. This was one recommendation that should have been checked out from the library.
The book starts off well enough by giving us a believable plotline about an orphan alien who happens to be a unicorn child. She is found and raised by asteroid miners. So far so good. Unfortunately for the plot, there are many difficult situations in the book which are too easily resolved.
Acorna's amazing little horn can do everything from purifying air and water to deterring the most apt sci-fi writer. Many characters go underdeveloped and I agree with many of the latter reviewers who believe that even Acorna is least developed of them all.
If you like foregone conclusions and pre-resolved plots, then this is a good read...If you think the next book will make up for the first's deficiencies, you are sadly mistaken...sorry!
Many others have given a basic plot summary, so I won't bother. I liked many of the characters. Acorna in particular seemed rather young, naive, but with a huge heart that was willing to do whatever necessary to help those in need (even at the risk of her own life and well-being). This seems a lot like what I'd expect if a unicorn (at least one that fits several of our stereotypes about them) became a human being. I also liked the fact that many of the other characters seemed quite human, and the interesting point that the authors made that people may be neither good nor bad. For example, one of the main characters was an extremely rich old man who was extremely corrupt, but in a good way; i.e., he would bribe officials, pull whatever strings he had, etc., but all for the purpose of trying to save children from slavery.
On the other hand, the story was somewhat predictable, and seemed a bit too easy. I won't say what happened at the end, but even though the authors set it up well, I had the feeling that it had all been sewn up a bit too neatly. Besides this, some of the plot twists were almost too simplistic.
If you can make it beyond that, the end was the kind of ending that you really want to have with such a situation, and I have to admit that a part of me would have been disappointed had it turned out otherwise. One final saving grace is that the conclusion didn't sew up all the romantic situations; I get quite sick of books where everyone automatically and unexplainably end up with the right person after a few quick pages. So overall, I'd call this a decent book; not wonderful, but not a bad book, either.
Most recent customer reviews
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. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003 by Kat,Kat
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 10 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. Read morePublished on July 26 2003 by Hummingbird
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. Read morePublished on July 14 2003 by D. E. Jager
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... Read morePublished on June 20 2003
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. Read morePublished on May 5 2003 by R. Jones
Three young space travellers come across an escape pod, inside is a young girl, well not really a girl, a sort of half human half unicorn. Read morePublished on Oct. 3 2002 by Brian Chavez
This book was charming and enchating. I read this book when I was about 10. I loved it and read the other two we own. Read morePublished on June 29 2002
In general this book was good. Even very good. However, I've found Anne McCaffrey's work in general to be a bit more addicting than this collaboration with Margaret Ball. Read morePublished on Dec 28 2001