Friday 10 May 2013

Book Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J Gonzalez - BLOG TOUR

Today I am sharing with you my review of The Photo Traveler by Arthur J Gonzalez; a young adult science fiction about a boy that can time travel. Check it out and the giveaway at the bottom.

Title: The Photo Traveler
Author: Arthur J Gonzalez
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
Release Date: 20th February 2013
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Format: eBook
Source: via Xpresso Book Tours for an honest review during the blog tour

Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone is resigned to being miserable for the rest of his life. Left alone in the world after his parents died in a fire when he was four, he was placed in foster care, which for him meant ending up in an abusive home with an alcoholic adoptive father.

Gavin’s only escape is in taking and creating images. His camera is his refuge from the unending torture and isolation of daily life in his “family.”

Until he learns by accident that he isn't alone in the world after all. His father’s parents are still alive and living in Washington DC.

When he takes the plunge and travels 3,000 miles to find his grandparents, he learns that they—and he—are part of something much bigger, and more dangerous, than he could ever have imagined. Something that has always put his family at risk and that will now threaten his own life, while forever changing it.

He learns that he is one of the last descendants of a small group of Photo Travelers—people who can travel through time and space through images. But his initial excitement turns to fear, when he soon discovers that he and his grandparents are being pursued by the fierce remnants of a radical European Photo Traveler cult, the Peace Hunters. What Gavin has, they want!

His adventure will take him to past eras, like The Great Depression and the Salem Witch Trials. Gavin will have to discover who he really is and must make choices that spell the difference between life and death for himself, for the relatives he now knows and loves, and for the girl he will come to love.

For Gavin Hillstone, life will never be the same.

My Review

The Photo Traveler was a great read and packed with action, intrigue and some romance. This is such a fantastic and unique idea; the characters were strong, the storyline fascinating and there were twists along the way that kept me guessing. I cannot wait to read The Peace Hunter, part two.

Gavin Hillstone is an almost 18 year old boy that hasn’t had a very easy life for such a young age. His parents died when he was 4 and had believed there were no other living relatives. Put into the foster system, he was adopted by the family that took him in. Having a fairly normal life up until 8 years old, his foster mother, Leyla was killed in a tragic accident at a supermarket.

Gavin was full of guilt, guilt for his parents, and guilt for Leyla and even his foster father and foster sister, Mel blamed him for her death. After a brutal fight with his drunk foster father, Gavin decides that’s it, he is leaving. Finding that there are secrets everywhere, he does in fact have Grandparents and is determined to find them.

Not sure if they are even alive any more, Gavin sets out with his winnings from a photo competition. Gavin has always found photography has a calming effect on him and his camera is his most prized possession. Catching a bus to DC, he arrives at the house where his Grandparents used to live. Turning up on their doorstep was risky, but was his only choice. When they open the door, Gavin not only discovers his long lost Grandparents, but finds out he is a Photo Traveler. Any photo, picture, print, painting or anything with an image can be used to travel to that exact location. The only catch is that it must be a real place/person and had to have happened, so he couldn’t travel to visit the dinosaurs.

Gavin is excited about this new power; he goes experimenting and loving his new family. Feeling loved is something new to Gavin and everything is so strange, but very comfortable. Gavin has so many questions about everything, what really happened to his parents? Who are these people that are threatening his family for these infamous vials of purple liquid? Who are the Peace Hunters?

In the beginning there were five families and each one was given a purple vial of liquid that could give the power to travel, they were told to keep the vial safe and to hand it down with each generation. If somebody had all five vials, they would have the power to travel in time forwards and backwards. This is a dangerous ability to hold and each family was at war to keep their vial safe from the other families.

Gavin starts a new school and quickly makes a friend in his photography class. Visiting his friend’s house, he sees a beautiful photo of a girl and has an instant attraction and connection, but she is in the past. How can he fall in love with a girl in the past when she isn't in the present?

There is a lot going on in this book, but it keeps you on your toes and guessing who, what, when and why? With betrayal, love, family loyalty, romance, intrigue, mystery and action, The Photo Traveler has a lot to offer. This book has a lot of potential to become a huge series and one that will become popular as it has appeal to a lot of readers. Again, I cannot wait to read the sequel The Peace Hunters.


About the Author

My name is Arthur J Gonzalez. I’m 28 years old, born and raised in Miami, FL. I graduated from the University of Florida. I am currently releasing my debut novel, The Photo Traveler. The premise surrounds 17 – year old Gavin, who discovers he is part of a small group, called Photo Travelers, who can time travel through photos and images.


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  1. Great review, doll! I'm glad you enjoyed it it sounds like a pretty packed book. I like the time travel romance aspect there was something similar in Julie Cross's series and it was really good!

  2. Thank you so much for this review and participating in my blog tour! :))))