Acorna The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball
Acorna: The Unicorn GirlGill, Rafik, and Calum are mining an asteroid when they spot some strange space debris. When they snag the odd shaped object, they discover it is a pod. They open it to discover a tiny creature – a small girl with stiff hands missing a normal joint, double toed feet, and a small horn in the middle of her forehead surrounded by silvery hair. She is obviously alone in space. They don’t know her species. Human have never met extraterrestials before. Yet here is one who is tiny and needs care.
The three men are enchanted and name her Acorna. She is too small to talk except for a word that may mean “mother” – they don’t know. As Acorna starts growing in their space ship, they discover she has special talents that aid their own ventures. Acorna, Rafik, Calum, and Gill become a family. But as she quickly grows, the men know they have a problem.
Acorna is unique among humans – a sentient non-human. If the men reveal her presence, they will lose her. They are barely able to keep her from having her horn removed or studied in a lab type situation. Next they foil an attempted kidnapping and escape to a mysterious, dangerous planet. Acorna is now fully grown. The four of them now have to avoid men who have a grudge against the miners and others trying to grab Acorna. Life is more exciting than they would like. When Acorna discovers the dark secret of their new home, things get more perilous for her.
Acorna is a quick, easy, enjoyable read. Despite that, it touches on a dark subject of child labor and handles the question deftly. Since this is a book written partially by Anne McCaffrey, the reader knows that right. and justice will prevail. There aren’t graphic scenes of the slave conditions, but the descriptions included aren’t pretty. The three minors are the rough, good hearted type characters. Acorna herself is a delightful character that still has a puzzle to work out – thus leading to sequels. Space opera fans should enjoy this one.