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First Warning : Acorna's Children (Acorna (Hardcover)) by Anne McCaffrey
Review by Harriet Klausner
Eos Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 006052538X
Date: 01 August, 2005 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

On Khorii?s first long space voyage on the Condor, they run across a derelict space cruiser and when they board it they find all the people dead. They continue on to the moon of Maganos where Acorna and Aari are contacted by the federation who needs their healing abilities to combat a plague that is sweeping the galaxy. Khorii stays on Maganos while her parents proceed to a planet hit hard by the plague. While they heal people to the point of exhaustion, Khorii makes friends with the human orphans on the moonbase as well as the Poopuus water dwellers.

When plague comes to their home planet, the children ask Khorii to save their parents. She goes along with a teacher from the school and a couple of students and a youngster on board the supply ship to aid those dying from the plague. When their mission there is complete, Khorii makes a rendezvous with her parents but it is not a happy reunion as Aari and Acorna return to their home world. Khorii is left to find the source of the plague so that her parents can be healed too.

First Warning is fantastic space opera as only Anne McCaffrey can write. One of the best features of the book is that though Khorii is Acorna?s daughter, she is not a clone of her mother; instead she has her own strength and flaws as well as her own way of doing things. She is courageous and heals a whole water planet by dipping her horn in the ocean. The allies and friend she makes stay with her through adversity and triumph and will be with her when she looks for the source of the plague in the next book in this exciting long running series that switches stars.

Acorna and Aari play a prominent role in this novel as they clear a planet of plague. They not only heal people but cleanse places of the disease. But the mission to find the origins of the plague is not theirs and their fear for their daughter adds an extra reason as to why these characters are so popular and cherished. The action is brisk and fast paced and the courageous characters are understandable to the audience. First Warning is a terrific tale with perhaps the only flaw being that Khorii becomes heroic too fast for an unsure youngster but even that doesn?t take away from the enjoyment of the book. The setting is years after the last Acorna book.

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