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First Warning: Acorna's Children Hardcover – Aug 2005

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Science Fictio; First Edition edition (August 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006052538X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060525385
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.6 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,174,933 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In bestsellers McCaffrey and Scarborough's charming first of a new trilogy, Khorii, the adolescent daughter of Acorna ("the unicorn girl"), has her share of problems while at school on an asteroid that serves as a refuge for war orphans after her parents go off to use their Linyaari healing powers against a deadly plague. Khorii's roommate doesn't like her feline companion; a bully doesn't care for her android foster brother, Elviiz; and she learns about human nudity taboos the hard way. Matters only get worse as Khorii has to use her powers to save some fellow students' home planet, then keep bureaucrats from quarantining the asteroid's supply ship and the aforementioned bully from hijacking it. Occasionally moving and often amusing, this light but never silly fantasy will particularly appeal to young adults.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"'Good spacefaring fun'" Publishers Weekly "'Combining colourful characterizations, lots of fast-paced action, and a decided sense of menace...this is entertaining fare indeed'" Booklist (on the Acorna series) "Demonstrates the storytelling expertise of co-authors McCaffrey and Scarborough. Old and new characters, exotic alien races, and unique methods of problem-solving make this a good choice" Library Journal "Khorii is definitely a chip off the old horn...Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough are experts at being able to draw their readers into quite a complex and already well-established world, without making too many narrative demands with regard to the previous books. Their style is, as always, eminently readable" SFX --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plague Warnings Oct. 10 2006
By Arthur W Jordin - Published on
First Warning (2005) is the first SF novel in the Acorna's Children series. Khorii is Linyaari, the daughter of Acorna and Aari. She is six Linyaari years old, the equivalent of twelve Standard years. Her foster brother, Elviiz, is the android creation of Maak, the android first mate of the Condor.

Khorii and her parents, Elviiz and Khiindi-- Khorii's cat -- are onboard the Condor bound for Kezdet to visit Acorna's adoptive fathers. Khorii is convinced that this trip will be boring and is already tired of the eternal night outside the viewers. When she enters the control room to spend some time with her Uncle Joh -- Captain Jonas Becker -- and RK -- Roadkill -- the feline first mate, she finds Becker gloating over a derelict spaceliner, the La Estrella Blanca.

The distress beacon is broadcasting and the ship is filled with dead bodies. When Becker boards the liner, he soon catches the plague and so do RK and Khiindi. Khorii hastily follows Becker and the cats to heal them.

Becker takes the death ship to a nearby storage asteroid and they continue on to Kezdet. There they learn that plague has been reported on several worlds. The Federation requests that Acorna and Aari travel to Paloduro in the Solojo system to heal the sick. The Condor takes a side trip to Maganos Moonbase to drop off Khorii, Elviiz and Khiindi, despite their objections.

Khorii makes friends with several children in the school on Maganos Moonbase, including the aquatic Poopuus, but Elviiz makes an enemy of Marl Fidd. The overdue supply ship Mana finally comes to Maganos Moonbase, but the crew has the plague. Khorii, Elviiz, and two students -- Hap Hellstrom and Sesseli -- take the shuttle Crow up to the plague ship. Khorii heals Jaya -- the only living member of the crew -- and then decontaminates the ship and cargo.

The school administrators refuse to accept the now purified cargo, including necessary food supplies, so Asha Bates -- the astrogation instructor -- takes her own shuttle up to the Mana. Unfortunately, she also brings Marl Fidd aboard. Bates successfully convinces the school staff that the food stuff is plague free, but they still refuse to allow her or the students or Jaya to enter Maganos Moonbase.

In this story, Khorii starts seeing blue spots when she heals plague victims or decontaminates cargo. At first she thinks that she is just getting tired, but then she realizes that these blue spots are the plague itself. Now she can check for the plague without exerting her healing powers.

Khorii successfully heals plague victims elsewhere, but finds herself close to exhaustion afterward. Acorna and Aari heal the surviving population on Paloduro, but they completely deplete their energy and catch a mutated version of the plague. Now they are plague carriers, without apparent symptoms themselves, but spreading the disease to others. They infect Becker, Maak and RK on the Condor and are only able to partially heal their friends.

This series is intended for young adults and thus is quite linear in its approach; it shows only a handful of viewpoints during the story. The plot tends to be simplistic, but the concepts are anything but simple. The Linyaari are pacifistic vegetarians, but they have to deal with a hostile, carnivorous universe. Sometimes they lose their tempers, but usually they use their minds and mental skills to find more acceptable solutions.

Highly recommended for McCaffrey & Scarborough fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of healing, suspense and adventure.

-Arthur W. Jordin
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-simplified but still enjoyable Oct. 15 2005
By booksforabuck - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Khorii is traveling with her parents when they run into first a derelict space cruiseship, and then get word of a plague that is ripping through the galaxy. Khorii's parents are famous healers, so they drop Khorii, along with her cat and her cyborg step-brother, at a school where they thinks she'll be safe, and head off to confront the plague. But Khorii is not really safe. First, there's a bully who actually tries to kill her cat, then there's the threat of starvation. The plague has been so complete that no food is reaching the school.

When she discovers that a plague-infested freighter is near, Khorii decides to stop following the rules and to act. She travels to the freighter, heals the sole survivor, and, when the school refuses to allow her to return, sets off on a mission of healing.

Unfortunately, the bully comes along--and causes no end of trouble for her with his ambition to become a space tyrant or pirate lord.

Authors Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough use the Acorna series to attempt to help teen and pre-teen readers discover the magic of SF. The clever cats, the device of using a unicorn girl as the protagonist, and Acorna/Khorii's innocence, vegetarianism, and passivism will all appeal to the young reader, especially the young female reader. It seems to me, however, that McCaffrey and Scarborough (both wonderful writers who have created some of the most powerful fantasy available today) go too far in simplifying their writing and simplifying the plot. Rather than write over their readers, I fear that they write under their readers.

Unlike several earlier Acorna stories, however, FIRST WARNING manages to be simple without being annoying. Even adult readers will find much about this story to be enjoyable, and the coming of age aspects are charming.
12 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars First Warning Sept. 5 2005
By AK - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Acorna's daughter, Khorii finds a derelict space ship adrift, with its crew dead of some terrible plague. Together with her foster brother, the android Elviz and a variety of other close companions, she must try to find a way to cure the disease before it spreads farther. As the unicorn girl is one of the few unaffected by it, it is up to her to cure the disease and discover who the bioterrorists are, lest her own parents fall ill.

** Though the first book in a series, if you haven't the background of the related prior series to go on, you'll be lost. Basically, this is Moreta set in a different enviroment, and really is not either author's best work. **

Reviewed by Amanda Killgore, Freelance Reviewer.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 22 2016
By Joyce C. Magorty - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really good
3.0 out of 5 stars This story is about Acorna's daughter and her attempts to ... Jan. 20 2016
By Eva Kilgore - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This story is about Acorna's daughter and her attempts to help stop a plague that is spreading quickly from world to world. Most of the characters are young people which I believe is the target audience for this story. It is a pleasant read but there is not too much substance to the narrative.