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Acorna : the unicorn girl
Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball
Adult Fiction MCCAFFR

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From Publishers' Weekly:

The vein of invention McCaffrey worked so effectively in her Pern series seems to have been exhausted. Collaborating again with Ball (after Partnership), McCaffrey opens promisingly in the far future with charming doomed unicorn beings who seal their infant into a survival pod, hoping someone will save her after they choose to die in space rather than in a grisly Khlevii torture cell. After three grungy Terran bachelor asteroid miners find the silver-curled, long-faced baby and name her "Acorna" for the strange protuberance growing from her forehead, the story gallops into a gulch of sentimentality. Acorna's horn can detect poisons and nuzzle sick and wounded humans back to health, so she becomes the savior of Kezdet, a Dickensian planet full of abused children slaving in mines, match factories and brothels. The authors stall in getting their major theme of exploited children under way, and they unconvincingly muddle it with precious goings-on among Acorna's three adopted miner dads, sentimentalized little victims, shady planetside entrepreneurs and a stock villain. Cut the "a"s from the title and what's left sums up this novel perfectly. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Found in a survival pod in space by prospectors, the infant Acorna soon exhibits the ability to analyze deficiencies in plants by taste, purify water and air, and heal. Taken to the planet Kezdet to avoid scientists who want to study her, Acorna discovers barbaric child-labor practices and vows to rescue the children. McCaffrey and Ball have created a magical alien in this fantasy/science fiction story. Recommended for sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Acorna
Age: Child
Unicorn-horned; intelligent; possesses healing abilities.

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