This is the first book of Anne McCaffrey's Acorna series. The next book is Acorna's quest.

Through events that occurred while Acorna was sleeping, her parents are dead, and she is placed in a escape pod and thrown far from home into a space warp that her parents did not know was possible.

She is discovered barely hours later still asleep in her escape pod by human asteroid miners, who realize she is not human, and an extremely fast learner. They adopt her out of convenience, and over a period of three years raise her from infancy to adulthood. (Apparently, her species develops very quickly.)

During this time, they teach her much of what they know, and protect her from idiotic psychologists, unscrupulous scientists, and others who wish to take advantage of her uniqueness or use her talents to accomplish her own goals.

Will Acorna ever find (or return to) her home world? Will her sheltered upbringing allow her to survive a sudden plunge into the society of a violent and corrupt universe? What impact will she have on that universe? Will her enemies kill her or each other first? Will Acorna get romantically involved with another species? Read the book to find out...

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