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Acorna's World    by Anne McCaffrey & Elizabeth Ann Scarborough order for
Acorna's World
by Anne McCaffrey
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2000 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Acorna's World continues the saga of the unicorn girl and the colorful spacer friends, who found her as an abandoned baby in an escape pod. In previous books they have rescued enslaved children working in brutal factories and saved others of Acorna's kind (the Linyaari) from a race of vicious torturers, the insectoid Khleevi. There have been tough enemies, but the good guys have a secret weapon in Acorna's horn, with its powers of purification and healing.

As this story starts, Acorna and Aari (a survivor of Khleevi torture) accompany Captain Jonas Becker and the enormous feline Roadkill aboard the salvage vessel Condor. They respond to an SOS call and find long lost Linyaari, Khleevi, and Aari's sister Maati, drawn there in search of her brother. During the encounter they make new allies, sapient vines, and accidentally discover a very fitting weapon against the 'big, nasty, alien bugs' - just in time, as the villains are mobilizing for a major attack on the Linyaari world.

There's not great depth to this series though it does take on some hard issues (child labor and torture). Its success is due to the formula that has worked so well for both authors in the past - characters impossible to dislike, lots of action and an intriguing universe (Hafiz of House Harakamian is especially fun to watch). If you haven't discovered this series yet, start with its first book, Acorna (Acorna's World is the fourth).

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