(2007) Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Corgi Books, £6.99, pbk, 413 pp, ISBN 978-0-552-1-5537-3
Acorna's Children: Second Wave is the ninth book in the 'Acorna' series, and I would strongly recommend reading the first eight books to grasp the complicated character relationships in this book. The main character is Khorii, the daughter of Acorna and Aari, who is travelling across space trying to fight a disease similar to the plague. She is a Linyaari, which is a part human, part unicorn race that has healing powers. Khorii, however is different from the rest of her breed because she and she alone has the ability to 'see' the disease, in the form of a haze of blue spots around the victim before any symptoms have been able to manifest. Using their horns they are able to heal the sufferer and their powers are not limited to the healing of disease, as they can also mend broken bones and restore the elderly to youthful health.
The idea behind the story is a good one but has many similar threads to other books by the same authors, such as the stories of Petaybee, in which the main character was a mix of human and seal and travel through space to help other races. I personally do not particularly enjoy any book that comes with not only a glossary of terms and names in that universe, but also an explanation of the alien language! The book over-complicates an otherwise enjoyable story with excessive vowels and the need to learn a second language in order to understand bits of the plot.
If you have previously enjoyed work by these authors or have a unnatural love of unicorns, then this book is for you, but if you like a bit more of an aggressive style with a harder edge, then look elsewhere.
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