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Acorna's World (Acorna Series #4)

Acorna's World (Acorna Series #4)

4.1 22
by Anne McCaffrey

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Acorna, the "unicorn girl" has made peace with her Linyaari past, and aboard the interplanetary salvage vessel Condor she is finally free. But dread overtakes her when a distress signal summons Acorna and her companions to a nearby planet. For among the myraid wonders of this world of sentient plants and intoxicating perfumes are unmistakable signs that


Acorna, the "unicorn girl" has made peace with her Linyaari past, and aboard the interplanetary salvage vessel Condor she is finally free. But dread overtakes her when a distress signal summons Acorna and her companions to a nearby planet. For among the myraid wonders of this world of sentient plants and intoxicating perfumes are unmistakable signs that everythng Acorna holds dear is in peril. A promise of world-shattering devastation is in the celestial winds-and impending catastrophe at the claws of the cold-blooded insectile race that seeks to eradicate all Linyaari and human life from the galaxy...the Khleevi!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gentle Unicorn Girl Acorna makes her fourth appearance in this galaxy-spanning successor to Acorna's Quest. Her shy, empathetic race, the pacific Linyaari, are still menaced by the horrid insectoid Khleevi, whose cannibalistic Young feast on their own elders as well as on other races they torture and destroy. Acorna, aboard the Condor, a spacegoing salvage ship captained by her friend Jonas Becker and accompanied by the vile-tempered Makahomian Temple Cat Road Kill and her Linyaari friend, Aari, who was previously maimed by the Khleevi, answers a distress call that leads her to a planet of sticky-veined sentient vines holding the secret to sapping the Khleevi and saving the Linyaari from extermination. Along the way, Acorna and Aari fall in love, a giant new Moon of Opportunity marketing venture (MOO) opens up for Acorna's adopted neo-Bedouin Uncle Hafiz, and the former slave children Acorna rescued earlier enjoy suitable education, gainful employment and a future of endless Happy Meals. Predictably strong on sweetness and light, noble self-sacrifice and plenty of teeny-bopper growing-up pangs--though correspondingly superficial in characterizations and future scientific wonders--this latest chapter in Acorna's adventures also offers (especially toward its close) some wry social commentary on capitalistic machinations and elder-eating younger generations: harmless good spacefaring fun. The novel includes a glossary of terms and proper names and "Brief Notes on the Linyaari Language." (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Returning to deep space after coming to terms with her lost heritage, the unicorn-like woman known as Acorna answers a distress signal that leads her to a new planet threatened by an old and vicious enemy. The fourth installment in this popular adventure series (Acorna, Acorna's People) demonstrates the storytelling expertise of coauthors McCaffrey and Scarborough. Old and new characters, exotic alien races, and unique methods of problem-solving make this a good choice for sf collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Acorna Series , #4
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Acorna's World
Chapter One

Roughly six weeks after she had joined the crew of the Condor, flagship of Becker Interplanetary Recycling and Salvage Enterprises, Ltd., Acorna sat on "salvage watch" at the helm of the ship, surrounded by the softly glowing console lights in the cockpit and the billions of stars beyond. She felt contented, almost as if she were once more home — back in the first home she could really remember, the mining ship she had shared with her adopted uncles. Behind her for the moment were the intricacies of Linyaari society and culture. Before her instead were the intricacies of the universe as recorded in the notes, tapes, and files of Captain Jonas Becker and his illustrious parent, astrophysicist and salvage magnate Theophilus Becker.

To give herself something to do during the long watch, she was charting those notations methodically so that the planets, moons, wormholes, black holes, "pleated" space, "black water" space, and other locations visited by the Beckers could be easily relocated, and the sites where they had once been could be revisited if the need arose.

Becker had grumbled at first when she started this chore. Since the death of his adoptive father, Theophilus Becker, from whom he had inherited both the Condor and the salvage business, Jonas Becker had been lord and master of the Condor, with only Roadkill — or RK for short — the huge Makahomian Temple Cat he had rescued from a wreck, for company. Becker didn't like his belongings tampered with or moved. But Acorna had found plenty of evidence that RK periodically made nests out of the hard copies of the notes, often shredded them when hefelt the urge, and, in a few sorry instances, had added his own personal — and remarkably pungent contributions to them when he was displeased with the state of his shipboard toilet. Though she could easily eradicate the odor and the stains, nothing could make the shredded notes legible again. It was high time someone charted the notes before RK had his way with the lot of them. After a few "reasonable discussions," Jonas had stopped grumbling and let Acorna get on with her task.

At first RK had stayed at the helm to assist Acorna with her job, but later had wandered off in search of food or a sleeping companion, probably Aari, the only crew member other than Becker currently aboard.

Like Acorna, Aari was Linyaari, a race of humanoid people with equine and alicorn characteristics -including a flowing, curly mane and feathery hair from ankle to knee, feet with two hard toes each, and three-fingered hands with one knuckle on each digit instead of two. The most striking characteristic of the Linyaari, to humans anyway, was the shining spiral horn located in the center of their foreheads. But in Aari's case, the horn had been forcibly removed during tortures he'd suffered while he was a prisoner of voracious bug-like aliens-the Khleevi. While Aari's other wounds had been healed on narhiiVh1liinyar, the world to which the Linyaari had fled when the Khleevi had invaded their original homeworld Vhiliinyar, Aari's horn had not regenerated.

This was an appalling wound for a Linyaari. A Linyaari's horn had amazing — almost magical, even — properties. The horns had the ability to purify anything — including air and water and food, to heal the sick, and also acted to some extent as an antenna for psychic communications among the Linyaari.

Acorna had learned a great deal more about the powers of her horn and about her people when she had returned with a Linyaari delegation to narhii-Vhiliinyar. Unfortunately, once she had arrived, her aunt and two other shipmates had been dispatched into space again to deal with an emergency, and Acorna had been left among strangers to try to adjust to her native culture, a culture she'd left behind while she was still a baby.

Her only two real friends on narhii-Vhiliinyar had been the eldest elder of the Linyaari people, Grandam Naadiina, and Maati, a little girl who was the Vüzaar's messenger and the orphaned younger sister of Aari.

When Becker had made his unauthorized landing on narhii-Vhiliinyar to return Aari and all the bones from the Linyaari graveyard to the new Linyaari home planet, Acorna, Grandam, and Maati had been in the greeting committee. Aari at that time had still been terribly deformed from his ordeal with the Khleevi, and the vüzaar Liriili and some of the less sensitive and compassionate Linyaari had not made his return easy.

Acorna, perhaps because her own loneliness had helped her identify with his, had been drawn to Aari. When an emergency signal had called Becker away from narhii-Vhiliinyar, Acorna and Aari had shipped out with him. They had been able to help in a crisis that had threatened some of Acorna's human friends as well as the Linyaari. As a result of their intervention, a branch of a Federation-wide criminal organization had been destroyed and many off-planet Linyaari, including Acorna's beloved aunt, had been rescued, along with all the other captives of the criminals. Acorna, Becker, Aari, and Acorna's Uncle Hafiz, who had also been on hand for the rescue, were now in great favor among her people.

Acorna could have stayed comfortably on narhii-Vhiliinyar once her aunt and the other ship-bred and ship-chosen Linyaari returned to the planet. But she had decided instead to leave with Becker and Aari.

She wasn't sorry. She might have been born on a peaceful planet populated by beings who had the ability to understand one another telepathically, but her upbringing had made her different, and that was sometimes a problem both for her and for her people. Space was familiar to her, and its diversity of races, species, and personalities stimulated her. Of course, right now, just being here, quietly charting coordinates, resting her eyes by watching the stars, wasn't very stimulating, but...

Acorna's World
. Copyright © by Anne McCaffrey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Anne McCaffrey, a multiple Hugo and Nebula Award winner, was one of the world's most beloved and bestselling science fiction and fantasy writers. She is known for her hugely successful Dragonriders of Pern books, as well as the fantasy series that she cowrote with Elizabeth A. Scarborough that began with Acorna: The Unicorn Girl.

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is the author of Channeling Cleopatra and the Nebula Award-winning The Healer's War, as well as more than twenty science fiction and fantasy novels. She lives in the Puget Sound area of Washington State.

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Acorna's World 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series for all ages!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed every minute! This is simple fun and I don't care that it's meant to be for young adult. The story of the Unicorn Girl is fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the story of Acorna. This is good reading!
harstan More than 1 year ago
On board the space traveling Condor, Acorna The Unicorn Girl feels safe from the insect race the Khleevi who dine on their own geriatrics and delight in eating other races. The Khleevi remain a major threat to Acorna¿s people, the Linyaari because the insect race has no qualms about genocide, as other species are fodder to them.

Accompanying Acorna on the salvage ship is Captain Becker, first mate Road Kill, and Khleevi escapee Aari. When they receive an SOS from a nearby planet, the foursome feel impelled to help. There they discover the Khleevi has caused another massacre that leaves Acorna and her companions fighting to save two races before further slaughter leaves them extinct.

The fourth Acorna tale is an entertaining young adult science fiction tale. The story line is filled with action and a growing attraction between Acorna and Aari. Late into the tale, Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough provide an entertaining, cleverly designed critique on how the young devour the elderly in free market society. Erudite fans will dine on Margaret Ball¿s linguistic interpretation that intelligently spoofs the plot¿s action-packed space opera with a small but serious thesis. Though lacking depth to any of the key players except in an overall generalization of the traits of the various races, ACORNA¿S WORLD is a fun to read work of science fiction.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
I have loved Anne McCaffrey since I was young, and this is one of her best book. We see the characters we met in previous books grow. Aari and Acorna fall in love (am I the only one who saw that one coming at the end of the last book?)and the way in which they both love each other but don't tell each other if quite funny. I don't want to spoil it, but the ending is sad, because a character dies. Over all: the best book in the series!