First Warning (Acorna's Children Series #1)

First Warning (Acorna's Children Series #1)

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

Now the exciting saga of the next generation begins.

First Warning

Khorii, daughter of the near-mythic Acorna and her lifemate, Aari, must contend with an overwhelming legacy to forge a path of her own through a universe filled with new adversaries and adventures.

A simple journey home to visit her parents turns into a race against time when Khorii happens upon a derelict spacecraft drifting in space, its crew dead in their seats. But this gruesome discovery is only a dread harbinger—a deadly plague is spreading across the universe and not even the healing powers of the Linyaari can slow its horrific advance. Khorii, one of the few unaffected by the outbreak, must find the nefarious perpetrators and a cure before the disease consumes all in its path—including her beloved parents.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061808609
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Series: Acorna's Children Series , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 186,689
File size: 793 KB

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

First Warning

Acorna's Children
By Anne McCaffrey

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Anne McCaffrey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060525398

Chapter One

Until the Condor encountered the derelict spaceship drifting through deep space, Khorii couldn't understand why the fact that she was taking her first long space voyage had caused so much fuss back home. She had flown on the Condor plenty of times when her family shuttled between her home planet of Vhiliinyar and the Moon of Opportunity (known as MOO to everyone except Uncle Hafiz and Aunt Karina now). This trip was just like those ones, only longer, although she did like seeing all the new solar systems and such that Mother and Father, Captain Becker, and her android friend Elviiz's dad Maak were so eager to point out to her.

When Khorii's parents decided to take her on a trip into Federation space to see her mother's human friends and family, Khorii had been afraid it would be really boring. But Mother had her reasons for taking her along. Mother's adoptive human fathers had come to visit when Khorii was younger, but she barely remembered them, and she had not yet met their mates and children. Mother said it was time and past that Khorii got to know them. Mother also wanted Khorii to see something of the worlds that she herself had known as a girl.

But Khorii was on her way, eventhough her Linyaari playmates, both of them, thought the prospect of a trip into a whole new sector of space was pretty scary. That was despite the fact that they were starborn themselves, and used to meeting other races.

Khorii was scared, too. But not for the same reasons her friends were. She was scared that it would be absolutely mind-numbingly dull, what with all of the adults talking about the Good Old Days and about people who were dead before she was born, as Linyaari adults seemed to do all the time.

At the same time she was worrying about being bored, she also thought that this trip could be thrilling.

But now, sitting in her berth and staring out through her viewscreen into space, she was not yet thrilled, and she wondered how it could have possibly been night for so long. Days and weeks and months full of nothing but darkness. Stars were everywhere, but not one of them turned the morning sky violet, as it was at home when Our Star rose over the mountains.

She understood, of course, the physics of space and light. She knew that it was Vhiliinyar's atmosphere that produced the beautiful skies she longed to see again, and not Our Star alone. Still, she couldn't help feeling that if she touched the tip of her horn to the screen, it might somehow purify the vastness and depth that had swallowed the ship and with it her family and friends, and turn the airless blackness into the light and sweet-smelling air she craved.

She felt a nudge under her arm and lifted it to see her cat Khiindi staring at her while his sides rose and fell with the passion of his purrs. Khiindi loved it out here. Well, he would. Cats loved nothing better than sleeping. Endless nights were good for sleeping. Of course, cats loved sunlight, too, but Khiindi just curled up under the nearest lamp and pretended it was his own personal sun.

Khorii sighed. How she longed to set the ship down someplace larger than the Condor, somewhere outside, where she could graze and run and play. And, right now, except for Khiindi, she was lonely. Her foster brother, Elviiz, usually annoyed her by being underfoot and in her way every chance he got, but now that he was closeted with his android father/creator, Maak, Khorii felt abandoned. Her parents, Acorna and Aari, were in their own berth, sleeping after a long watch. They had proposed this trip as a way to spend more time with their family after a long series of missions that had taken them away from Vhiliinyar, but at the moment it felt to Khorii that they were spending their time exclusively in each other's company. She was feeling decidedly left out.

Khorii stretched, yawned, and decided to go see what was happening on the bridge. Maybe she could get Captain Becker, her beloved Uncle Joh, to play a game with her or teach her more about gonzo physics.

When she got to the deck, it seemed that Uncle Joh also had better things to do. He was bouncing up and down in the command seat, alternately wringing his hands and clapping them together before spreading them over the various controls of his scanner array like a concert pianist about to pound out a sonata in one of the cultural vids Mother insisted she watch.

Drawing nearer to her human friend, she saw a spot of drool beaded at the side of his mouth. Becker looked exactly like RK, the ship's feline first mate, when RK was contemplating a particularly tasty specimen of vermin. Khorii rushed forward, worried that Uncle Joh, who was of course quite aged, being a contemporary of her parents, was having some kind of seizure. But then she saw the reflection of his eyes glittering avariciously in three of the scanner arrays and knew he was fine. What he was wearing was simply a heightened version of his characteristic "Yahoo, salvage!" expression: a mixture of enthusiasm, delight, and greed.

The Condor was a ship dedicated to collecting and "recycling" or selling salvage, and Uncle Joh loved his business. There was very little else that could thrill him so much as a bit of wreckage or refuse. It appeared that he had a particularly luscious bit of salvage in sight this time.

"What is it?" she asked him, sliding into her usual seat beside the captain. She had lived only six Linyaari years, the equivalent of twelve Standard years for a humanoid child, and was somewhat short for her age, even among her Linyaari friends. Khiindi hopped onto the headrest of her chair, which rose a foot or so above the top of her head.


Excerpted from First Warning by Anne McCaffrey Copyright © 2006 by Anne McCaffrey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
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nyrican4t More than 1 year ago
Acorna's series is absolutely delicious! I introduced her to my daughter and she remains a fan! Ms. McAffrey invites you into a world of science fiction, fantasy and you won't want to leave! Her writing is like a movie in your mind! James Cameron must have read her works to be able to envision his. Once you've read one series, you'll want to read the others. She explores all the pertinent points of the human condition!
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Khorii, the daughter of Acorna and Aari, is on her first long space faring voyage and hopes for a little excitement. She gets more than she bargained for when a virulent plague sweeps the human galaxy killing millions and her parents are asked to use their healing abilities to save lives. They agree to go to a planet where there are desperately needed while their daughter visits Maganos Moonbase where she makes friends with human youngsters as well as the young water dwelling Poopuus children. --- When the plague comes to the Poopuus world, the youngsters beg Khorii to go there and save their parent with her horn on the forehead that heals. She agrees to go and is accompanied by some students a teacher, her cyborg friend and her sentient cat. She saves the people and the planet by letting the properties of the horn heal the people and cleanse the water. She then meets up with her parents but it is not a happy reunion. In order to help Aari and Acorna, Khorii must track the origins of the man-made plague and find an antidote that will help her family.--- FIRST WARNING continues the adventures of Acorna and her family but Khorii is the main protagonist as she comes into her psychic powers and matures into a person willing to heal whole planets and expose herself to danger to keep those she cares closest to safe. The authors give as much attention to the characterizations as they do to the action scenes making FIRST WARNING a great entry in a strong running fantasy series. --- Harriet Klausner