The Shiners

Young Adult - Sci-Fi
243 Pages
Reviewed on 03/17/2015
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Author Biography

Author Tara Ellis lives in a small, rural town in Washington State, set in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She enjoys the quiet lifestyle with her husband, two teenage kids and several dogs. Tara was a firefighter/EMT (yes, you read that right) and worked in the medical field for many years, before committing herself to writing young adult and middle grade novels full-time after life threw the MS curve-ball at her. (she still dabbles in teaching CPR)

She grew up on sci-fi, was a devoted Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica fan, and has since found a love for conspiracy theories. This background, combined with a wild imagination has led to The Forgotten Origins Trilogy. The first book in the series, Bloodline, was named 'Indie Book of the Day in Oct, 2014' and voted as 'Top 50 Indie Books of 2014'. (

    Book Review

Reviewed by Michelle Randall for Readers' Favorite

In Infected: The Shiners by Tara Ellis, Alex and her younger brother Jake are lying on the hillside in the park, watching the stars along with their mother and most of the rest of the town, waiting for the greatest meteor display in 5000 years. Her dad loved this stuff and had been talking about this display for years; in fact he talked of them watching it in Egypt, but that had been before he died. The shower is spectacular, although one seems to pass by pretty close, and then Alex's mom comes down with a terrible cold. Not only Alex's mom, but most of the town. As people get over of their colds they are not the same, and Alex starts finding clues left behind by her father. She turns to Chris, a 75% Cherokee by blood boy in her school, as he didn't get sick either. Alex is 50% Egyptian by blood. Infected: The Shiners follows Alex and Chris as they try to figure out her father's clues and what is going on with their friends and family. Author Tara Ellis gives us a wonderful story that fits many genres.

Infected builds on purity of a family blood history, so Chris and Alex, having a extremely pure family history, have highly concentrated bloodlines and therefore they do not get sick when the virus takes over. This is a unique concept and at the same time slightly disturbing because the odds of anyone having such a pure bloodline nowadays is remote. Tara Ellis gives us a story that easily falls into the science fiction, or fantasy, or even paranormal genres, but no matter how you classify it, it is worth a read for young adults and adults alike. This book is to be the first in a three-part trilogy.