Friday, 22 April 2011

Acorna: The Unicorn Girl (Acorna - Book One)

Acorna: The Unicorn GirlTitle: Acorna: The Unicorn Girl
Author: Anne McCaffrey & Margaret Ball
Series: Acorna (Book One)

Succeeded By: Acorna's Quest


Score: 11/10
Can I do that?

How likely I am to read the next in the series: I always do immediately after I read this one.


Note: This review refers in general to the entire Acorna series, as well as this specific book.

When asked which, out of all my books, I would recommend first, I was stumped. There are so many good books that I love, and how could I choose between then. But as I sat looking at my ridiculously large book collection, I realised that there was only one it could be. Acorna.

I've only read it twice, but both of those times led me to reading the rest of the series afterwards. Other books are generally not so compelling, and it's a testament to the masterwriter that is Anne McCaffery, and to her writing partner Margaret Ball. Chances are that you know her, if just by name, for her dragonriders or Pern sequence, which is her primary series, and really quite good. But Acorna is such a unique character (I  think McCaffery invests more into her than I think she does in the Pern characters) that this book stands out particularly.

Of course, McCaffery is a famous author for a reason: Her masterful storytelling (And not for the cookbooks she released...). This book is no different. She takes her wonderful character, and places her in a vibrant world, populated by incredible characters (the three miners, and her "uncle" in particular are really good. And then she weaves these brilliant motifs into a grand tapestry that is the storyline. It seems like a simple premise. A lot of it is Acorna figuring out how she fits into the universe. But the way McCafferey tells it makes her, in my eyes, the best Sci-Fi writer out there - a view that is shared by many.

Note: I count her Pern series as fantasy, and there ARE better fantasy writers, but Acorna is

More Information

Main Protagonist(s): Unicorn Girl
Main Antagonist(s): Various Organisations (Main enemy of the series is an Alien Race)
Main Relationships: Heterosexual, but not really developed that much in this first book
Genre: Science Fiction
Brief Synopsis:

Three old space mining prospectors in their beat-up space ship discover a small pod floating in space. Inside is a tiny girl child, with funny little hooves, a wealth of silver hair growing on her body, and a lump in the middle of her forehead which, as time elapses, grows into a horn. It is a sort of unicorn. 

When the old prospectors come to sell their ores on the home planet controversy breaks out. Bureaucrats want to put her in a home and cut off her deformity, scientists want to study her and isolate her, and so the old three kidnap her back on their ship and go roaring off round the universe, having adventures, saving her, and finally having her save all the child slaves on a terrible planet called Kezdet. It is space opera at it’s best and will be followed by more in the series, no doubt tracing Acorna to her home planet.
ISBN: 978-0552146210
Website: (Site dedicated to McCaffrey's Works)
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 416
First Published: 1998
Publisher: Corgi

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