Second Wave (Acorna's Children Series #2)

Second Wave (Acorna's Children Series #2)

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Overview

It is difficult growing up in the shadow of heroes revered throughout the galaxy. But Khorii became a hero in her own right as she fought to save the universe from a mysterious, deadly plague that not even the healing powers of the Linyaari could stop. Now, confined with the rest of the survivors on Paloduro, it seems as if Khorii and her friends may be able to stem the tide of death and disease. However, ominous signs indicate that the epidemic is only beginning, as old enemies reemerge and a shocking family secret is revealed. With the aid of her android "brother," Khorii must foil the deadly pestilence before a covert mission to cripple the entire star system is catastrophically complete.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060525422
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/26/2007
Series: Acorna's Children Series , #2
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.84(d)

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

Second Wave

Acorna's Children
By Anne McCaffrey

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Anne McCaffrey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060525401

Chapter One

The scream awakened Khorii from a deep and well-earned sleep. Swinging her feet out of bed, she stood for a moment, disoriented, trying to determine the source. Had she dreamed it? But, no, there it was again. Childish, high-pitched, feminine, and--invasive. It was in Khorii's mind as well as in her ears.

Sesseli!

She ran for the door to her room and tripped over the cat.

"Khiindi Kaat, please move," she said to the smallish, fluffy, gray-striped cat who gave her an offended look. After all, she had assaulted him just when he was setting about on his errand of mercy to see what was making his friend Sesseli scream like that. If only these stupid bipeds didn't find it necessary to put doors in one's way.

Khorii lifted him with her hoof and moved him to one side so she could open the door.

Finally! Khiindi thought.

He sprinted out ahead of her down the hall to the dormitory room occupied by their young friend, the charming six-going-on-seven-year-old Sesseli, an orphan from Maganos Moonbase.

Khorii yanked open Sesseli's door and ran in, expecting to find the child injured at the very least. Possibly worse. Instead, Sesseli was standing at herrain-streaked window, which overlooked the former town square of the mostly deserted city of Corazon. Khorii thought at first that perhaps a thunderclap or a particularly close bolt of lightning had frightened the child. But in that case, wouldn't she be backing away from the window instead of crowding close to it? Besides, the soundproofing in the dormitory was excellent, and Khorii herself hadn't heard any thunder. The monsoon outside sounded like nothing more than the patter of rain on her own window.

"What is it, Sess?" she asked, using thought-talk so as not to startle the child further. Khorii was an expert at thought-talk--all adult members of the Linyaari were. Khorii's whole home planet routinely communicated that way. Sesseli, though human rather than Linyaari, was herself a telepath with telekinetic abilities. Like Khorii and Khiindi, she was a member of the very young crew of the Mana, a supply ship whose crew and former owners had all died in the recent space plague with the exception of Jaya, the captain-in-training.

The captain now in charge, former astronavigation instructor Asha Bates, was right behind Khorii, entering the room so fast she stepped on Khiindi's tail. With a yowl that made Sesseli jump, Khiindi hop-ped on the bed, out of the way of clumsy feet, and from there was scooped up by Sesseli, who buried her face in his fur.

"It moved," the child said. "It moved all by itself. I didn't make it, honest."

"What moved, sweetie?" Captain Bates asked, stepping around Khorii to join Sesseli at the window.

"That. The marker," she said, pointing. The former city square had become the final resting place for masses of the plague victims, each huge grave marked by a plascrete stone with the pictures of each dead face--or if the face was too far gone to be identifiable, some other identifying object--a ring, a watch, an amulet or scrap of clothing. The names of those who could be identified before burial were also attached. For fear of the horrible disease that had swept the galaxy, these dead could never be given more individual burials, but at least any surviving descendants who showed up later would be able to learn the fate of their relatives or friends. It was the best the children and mostly elderly adults remaining in Corazon, as in other stricken areas, could do for the less fortunate.

"It is probably just the rain, Sesseli," Khorii said, trying to reassure her. "It got muddy enough around the marker to loosen its moorings and it slipped." "Or could it have been looters?" Captain Bates asked. "Maybe they were messing around there and destabilized the stone, so it shifted as the ground settled or something. That could have been what you saw, pet."

"Unless there's another telekinetic around here we don't know about," Hap Hellstrom said from behind Khorii. Like the others, Hap was part of the Mana's crew. All of them except Jaya had boarded the stranded supply ship while it orbited Maganos Moonbase, forbidden by the school's administrators from landing. The school on the moonbase and all the students and teachers as well as the moonbase's managers, Khorii's human grandfathers, Calum Baird and Declan Giloglie, and their wives, were fine. The rescue party from Khorii's home planet, Vhiliinyar, had, with her help, scoured the moonbase and its nearest world, Kezdet, eradicating all traces of the plague, which had not yet become entrenched there.

Paloduro, the planet of which Corazon was the chief city, was where the plague had seemed to originate. It had been cleansed by Khorii's parents before they became so exhausted they contracted a mutant form of the illness, which made them carriers. They had returned to Vhiliinyar with their human friend Captain Becker, his feline first mate, Roadkill, suspected sire of Khiindi, and his android first mate Maak, creator-father of Khorii's android friend, tutor, protector, adopted brother, and often her main source of annoyance, Elviiz.

Elviiz, who had appeared in the doorway beside Hap at the same time as Jaya, said, "I will go there now and determine the validity of Captain Bates's hypothesis." He didn't always talk like that but just after he recharged, he always seemed to express himself in that annoyingly I-can-store-and-process-gigabillions-more-bits-of-information-gigabillions-of-times-faster-than-any-of-you-mere-human-gits way.

But in this case he was making himself useful, so Khorii didn't mind. She sat on the bed and pulled Sesseli and Khiindi into her lap, then she laid her horn against Sesseli's fluffy blond head. The short golden spiraling horn in the middle of her forehead allowed Khorii and other Linyaari to heal trauma, pain, injury, and illness to a degree that seemed miraculous to most humans.

Continues...


Excerpted from Second Wave 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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Second Wave (Acorna's Children Series #2) 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
sedelia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This series just doesn't have the charm that the original Acorna series had. I don't know if it's because we're not discovering as many different worlds and cultures or if it's due to having Khorii as a main character, but there's definitely something missing. However, for fans of the series, this is still enjoyable and worthwhile. It's a fast read and this one does a better job of tying into the latter part of the original series than First Warning did.This book is a good set-up for what's to come. I think the last book of the series is going to be extremely exciting. Not only is the plague transforming into an unknown entity that even Khorii doesn't seem able to fight, old enemies are coming back (as the summary says).Khorii is a bit whiny for my taste, but she does what she needs to do. She has some awesome moments in this book, one with a shady trader, and some others with futuristic pirates. Sometimes I really miss the presence of Acorna's adoptive fathers. Instead, Khorii hangs out with kids whose parents were the victims of the plague. It fits into the story line, but I don't think there are any really strong characters in this series, which bothers me a bit.What I like about this book is that Khorii seems to be coming into her own. Without the help of her parents, she's maturing and learning how to manage by herself. Also, the entire book is suspenseful. You know something really bad is going on, but all the characters seem to pass it off as something odd but not incredibly important. In the end, the begin to figure it out. This is at once frustrating and necessary, because it most definitely kept me turning the pages.I would recommend this for those who have already read the original Acorna series. If you're just now getting into this series, don't start with Acorna's Children. It's not as good and you won't catch the references made to the previous series.
shavienda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Something had been niggling at me during the previous book (first warning), but I brushed it off. I realized what it was during this second novel. The writing feels off. Maybe it's because we're dealing with essentially child/preteen protanganist for the most part, but I felt like the novel was written worse than Anne's normal works. I felt like I was reading something far below even the young adult line.
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Khorii is a member of the Linyaari race created from the DNA material of a unicorn sentient species rescued from Old Terra by the Ancestral Friends, a shapeshifting, time traveling space voyaging race. She, like all Linyaari, has a horn that heals her people and humans. Khorii follows in the footsteps of her famous Mother Acorna by discovering a new way to heal an entire planet from a plague that killed billions (see FIRST WARNING). --- Now the Linyaari are mopping up as the plague seems to have finally burned itself out Khorii is in the thick of the operation as she is only one who can see the plague. On planets where the plague has been reported, strange phenomena occur. The ghosts of dead plague victims appear and inorganic objects abruptly implode. Khorii and her newfound twin, who traveled from far back in time to be reunited with her family who never knew she existed, must figure out what is going on before civilization comes to a halt in a very large inhabited sector of the galaxy. --- What makes this series special is the reader is thoroughly immersed in the Linyaari culture. SECOND WAVE picks up where FIRST WAVE left off and proves exciting and past-paced though newcomers should start with the previous tale first as references are frequent to the events in that thriller. The heroine, though young, is a feisty fighter willing to do what it takes to save worlds and those who live on them though this time a sense of foreboding that Khorii and readers feel climaxes into a shocking final revelation. --- Harriet Klausner