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Acorna's Rebels (Acorna Series #6)

Acorna's Rebels (Acorna Series #6)

4.1 19
by Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth A. Scarborough

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Beloved by millions of readers, Anne McCaffrey is one of science fiction's favorite authors. Writing with Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, she has created the bestselling Acorna series featuring the adventures of the brave unicorn girl.

Acorna's people, the Linyaari, have started to reclaim their homeworld from the ravages of the brutal alien


Beloved by millions of readers, Anne McCaffrey is one of science fiction's favorite authors. Writing with Nebula Award-winning author Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, she has created the bestselling Acorna series featuring the adventures of the brave unicorn girl.

Acorna's people, the Linyaari, have started to reclaim their homeworld from the ravages of the brutal alien Khleevi. But the expedition has unlocked a larger mystery about the origins of the Linyaari people -- one that has led Aari, Acorna's beloved lifemate, into a dangerous journey through time and space. A journey from which Aari may never return.

Now acorna, joined by Captain Becker, Mac, Nadhari, and RK, sets off on a determined mission to save her beloved. But a forced crash landing brings the crew to the exotic jungle world of Makahomia, home of the mysterious Temple Cats. Beautiful and barbaric, Makahomia has been blockaded for years to protect itself -- and the Federation.

Racing to save the Temple Cats from a deadly disease, Acorna uncovers a sinister plot to destroy the sacred felines and exploit Makahomia's people, an evil scheme that reaches out into the very depths of space.

While Nadhari confronts the demons of her childhood, Acorna must lead a small band of determined rebels to stop the conspiracy and unravel a dangerous mystery, a quest that takes them into the secret temples and hidden sanctuaries of that world. But within one sacred shrine Acorna discovers shocking information that may lead to Aari . . . or to disaster.

Editorial Reviews

In the sixth novel in Anne McCaffrey's classic series, Acorna travels far into space, searching for Aari, her beloved life-mate. Her quest leads her, however, into the tentacles of a far-flung conspiracy that threatens to thwart her plans and even destroy her.
Publishers Weekly
McCaffrey (the Pern series) and Scarborough (The Healer's War) offer another readable, lightweight cross between fantasy and SF in their latest novel about Acorna, the Unicorn Girl. A member of the Linyaari, a humanoid race with horns in the middle of their foreheads, Acorna continues to hunt for her beloved life-mate, Aari, who disappeared in Acorna's Search (2002). She travels aboard the starship Condor to the planet Makahomia, which she finds in the grip of a plague killing the sacred Temple cats. Acorna fights a desperate rearguard action against the plague with her horn's healing power, but the mystery clearly lies deeper. With the aid of both Condor shipmates, who include the Temple cat Roadkill (aka RK), and local Makahomians, among them shape-changing priests who can turn into cats, Acorna strives to prevent disaster. She ends up somewhat closer to Aari's trail through space and time, but clearly with several books worth of adventures to go before she reaches him. While it's not up to the highest level of either author's work, this installment will certainly engage long-time readers of the series. And don't overlook its being a feast for cat lovers! (Feb. 1) FYI: Scarborough's The Healer's War won a Nebula award. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Unicorn girl Acorna, having just come from exploring the mysteries of her people's former home world, Vhiliinyar, where her lifemate, Aarie, was lost in the mists of time, now signs for another voyage with the scavenger captain Jonas Becker. This time they are journeying to the home world of bodyguard Nadhari Kando, trying to find a link between Makahomia's temple cats and the lost pahaaritiyirs of Vhiliinyar while also trying to locate the missing Aarie. When they reach Makahomia, they are forced to deal with Nadhari's cousin, a priest determined to force Makahomia out of its agrarian ways and into the technological universe by any means necessary, including killing the sacred cats. This sixth book in the Acorna series is the fourth that McCaffrey has cowritten with Scarborough. For a series with such an unlikely sounding premise-a humanoid girl with a unicorn's horn and hoofed feet who ends up using her healing powers to alter the fates of several worlds-the books about Acorna are beginning to develop into a well-fleshed-out universe. Although parts of the plot are too easily wrapped up, the book moves quickly. There is very little strong language, a few references to sexual abuse, and some mild violence. A good selection for a light, adventurous read, it is recommended for libraries with the rest of the series, although readers should be warned that some major plot issues are not resolved by the end, paving the way for book seven. VOYA CODES: 4Q 2P S A/YA (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; For the YA with a special interest in the subject; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12; Adult and Young Adult). 2003, Eos/HarperCollins, 308p,
— Snow Wildsmith
Library Journal
On a quest for her missing lifemate, Aari, Acorna and her feline companion, the Temple cat known as RK, make an unscheduled stop on the tropical planet Makahomia, the home of the Temple cats. There, Acorna discovers a sinister plot against the sacred cats and the planet itself, as well as clues that could lead her to Aari-or to her death. Fans of the popular series by veterans McCaffrey ("Dragonriders of Pern" series) and Scarborough (The Healer's War) featuring the "unicorn-girl" Acorna should enjoy this fast-paced, well-plotted tale of a young woman's compassion and determination. Purchase where the series has a following. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/02.] Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Alert for SF cat lovers: Acorna, the telepathic teen with the unicorn's horn, rescues a planet of felines and warring humans, both menaced by a plague. In the McCaffrey franchise fifth volume, Acorna busies herself with repairing Vhiliinyar, the planet of the unicorn people who are Acorna's ancestors. Vhiliinyar was almost destroyed by the bug-like Kleevi, but after the discovery of a subterranean city and its time machine (Acorna's Search, 2002, etc.), it will be easier to restore its fragile ecological balance. Some loose ends remain: While Aari, Acorna's heart-throb, has yet to emerge from the time machine, two Wats-crude unicorn-hunters urped up from the distant past-must be taken somewhere they won't cause harm. Acorna agrees to accompany the Wats, with Starship Condor's Captain Jonas Becker; the android MacKenZ; the female security guard Nadhari Kando; and the fiesty tomcat Roadkill to the planet Nirii, where telepathic inhabitants might help them adjust to life in the galactic Federation. But the ship founders and is rescued by a passing vessel that tows it to Makahomia, the homeworld of Nadhari and RoadKill. Populated by worshipped cats and warring humans, Makahomia is protected by the Federation: no new technologies may be introduced that will give any clan an advantage. Roadkill reveals that he sabotaged the ship in order to bring Acorna to Makahomia so that the seemingly magical powers of her horn could stop the plague that's been killing cats. As the cats inexplicably get better, Acorna finds herself a target of evil forces that want to kill off both cats and humans so as to rob one of the planet's religiously venerated natural resources. To save the world, Acorna must find away break the Federation's rules.

Ho-hum dialogue and shoddy world-building will turn off all but series fans (who will thrill to former McCaffery collaborator Margaret Ball's tedious appendix about the fake language the characters speak) and cat-fantasy readers, who will adore the cloyingly cute passages about heroic felines.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Acorna Series , #6
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Acorna's Rebels

Chapter One

The mountains were still not right. Oh, the peaks soared majestically enough. Gaali, a huge crest translucent with snow and deep blue glaciers, loomed above the purple-blue cone of Zaami, which nestled between it and the rugged, sharp-edged icy summit of Kaahi, the only one of the three massive slopes ever to have been scaled.

These peaks had an almost mystical significance to Acorna's people, the Linyaari. They were the top of the world, and Our Star's progress from one side of Gaali's peak to the other had once divided a Linyaari day as the rising of moons did on other planets. The sight of the rugged mountains against the horizon had meant home to the Linyaari...until their world was invaded by an alien race, the Khleevi. The Khleevi had destroyed everything in their path, even the highest mountains on Vhiliinyar, the native planet of the Linyaari.

Many of the Linyaari recovery teams working on their ravaged homeworld had recently seen their mountains again, beautiful and whole. Caught up in the alien machinery of a long-buried ancient city there, they had been trapped and snatched into their planet's past. Returning time travelers brought back sketches, notes, specimens, even vids of the peaks, but Acorna could not reconcile any of their images perfectly with the holo program that would form the basis for the re-formation of the peaks.

"You've redone that range twenty times if you've done it once, Princess. Give it a rest," said Jonas Becker, CEO of Becker Interplanetary Recycling and Salvage Enterprises Ltd., and captain of the firm's flag and only ship, the Condor.

"It's as if everyperson who has seen those mountains has seen different ones, Captain," Acorna said. "No matter how we build them, someone will be disappointed or think there is something we have left out."

"We'll just put all the controversial stuff at the top of the high one, then." He shrugged. "That way if they want to nitpick they'll have to either climb it or land on it to find fault."

"Maybe. But they are already rebuilding our home more slowly than most people truly wish because of Aari and me. I want everything to be just right when each feature of old Vhiliinyar is reinstated."

"You are really something," Becker said, shaking his head. "You look like you haven't finished high school, yet you're trying to push mountain ranges around and tell forests how to grow because you also think you can tell people what to see when they look at them? Give it up, Princess. It wasn't just because of Aari that your people decided to take the more conservative approach to re-terraforming Vhiliinyar. Expense entered into it, and truly owning their home, and all that other stuff Kaalmi Vroniiyi and the Ancestors talked about at the last Council meeting. It's time for you to let go a little. You have to do something besides work and hang out at the time machine in case Aari pops up."

"I do other things!" Acorna said with a little jut of her lower lip. "I go for long walks. I talk with the Ancestors and the Elders. I make notes of how the environment is trying to heal itself from the Khleevi damage."

At that moment a piece of debris flew between them on an ill-tempered breeze blowing through the ancient city. Though the breeze was nothing like the high roaring winds that plagued Vhiliinyar's barren surface these days, it carried blades of ice in it nonetheless. The debris was pounced on and subdued immediately by Becker's first mate, a Makahomian Temple cat Becker called Roadkill, or RK. Being the second in command on a salvage ship, RK was a highly skilled professional when it came to collecting junk. However, in this case, once he had pounced on the object, which turned out to be a crumpled list of specimens collected by aagroni Iirtyi in different eras of Vhiliinyar history, the paper's lack of resistance bored the cat.

Abandoning his prey, RK strolled over to greet Acorna, leaped onto her shoulder, and walked across her chest. Purring madly, he rubbed his face against the tablet she held. She finally released it and rubbed his chops, which had been his master plan all along, she suspected.

Becker continued his own blandishments. "Going for a walk isn't like really going anywhere. You haven't even visited MOO in over six weeks. Hafiz has summoned RK and me to visit him there, and we're about to board the Condor now. Come on with us. Mac would love to see you. Besides, if there's salvage to haul, we'll be shorthanded without Aari. We could really use your help. My back has been acting up lately." The very able-bodied veteran spacefarer rubbed the small of his back and groaned, while watching her from slitted eyes to see if she was looking sympathetic.

She laughed. "Oh, very well, Captain. I take it that you are not employing your acting skills because you wish me to heal your 'bad back,' but because you're so flatteringly desperate for my company, such as it is these days. Let me tell Maati and the others I'm going, leave a few notes for them on how to continue my work here, get some things together, and I'll be right with you."


As soon as they were back in space Acorna realized that Becker had been right to lure her away from the planet. Back on Vhiliinyar, no matter how hard she worked, she always kept one part of her focus on the people around her, secretly waiting for someone to say they'd seen him coming out of the lake or near the time device or ... somewhere.Here on the Condor, with Becker, Mac, and the cat, it was almost like the impossibly recent good old days when they had all been together ...

Acorna's Rebels
. 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 Rebels 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Excellent series!
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BarbaraR46 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. Plenty of surprises
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Guest More than 1 year ago
My mom picked up Acorna: The Unicorn Girl from the library book sale because she thought I might like it. She didn't even come close. The Acorna series has to be Anne's best work, and though some may disagree, I find it an even more thrilling and page-turning series than the Harry Potter books, and I think they're fantastic! Anne, Margaret and Elizabeth have woven a tapestry of rich, memorable and humorous protagonists which are opposed by equally menacing and evil enemies. I read this book in less than 3 days, and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment. You can't find better reading than this. It's also great reading for younger readers.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Acorna listens to any information that would lead to her finding her missing mate Aari who vanished in ACORNA¿S SEARCH. However, no clues have surfaced leaving the Linyari concerned with worry that reflects in her brow even with the unicorn horn in the middle of her forehead. Captain Becker, CEO of Becker Interplanetary Recycling and Salvage Enterprises, persuades Acorna to accompany him on his ship Condor leaving the terraforming of her planet Vhiliinyar for Makahomia, home to First Mate RK. On Makahomia, the crew finds a deadly plague killing RK¿s peers, the sacred Temple cats. Acorna uses the healing prowess of her horn to stop the deadly disease before devastation occurs. However, Acorna and her allies soon discover a malevolent collusion of epic proportions that stretch time and space and could lead to Aari or death for herself, her friends, and multitudes of sentient beings crossing various species. ACORNA¿S REBELS will provide two things to fans of the series. First, readers will relish the heroine¿s latest action-packed adventures. Second it appears that the reunion is several tomes into the future. The story line is fun though simplistic even with a interstellar conspiracy to propel it forward. Acorna remains a troubled brave lead character and the support cast add depth. However, this tale provides little new except perhaps some insight into the world of RK and is mostly for long time fans of the series or either author. Harriet Klausner
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought that it was good, sure the dialogue isn't that great but the whole concept is so intrigueing that i just couldn't put it down. Of course i've read the other five books in the series and I just couldn't put them down. I would highly suggest that you read the other books before this one to get a better understanding of it and i would reccomend it to anyone into to science fiction/ fantasy, especially teenage girls.