The Photo Traveler
written by Arthur J. Gonzalez
published by Fahrenheit Publishing
Why did I pick this book: I participated in the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy this book. The synopsis drew me in as something different from anything I had read in the past. The Photo Traveler did not disappoint. I read this book every free chance I had.
I felt for Gavin from the get-go. I wanted him to get away from his adoptive father and move on to something, anything else. I had hoped that he would find some family somewhere and that he did, along with so much more. Gavin found out he was a photo traveler. He can look at a photograph and travel to that time period with a few words. This was a great, new concept for me. I haven’t read anything quite like this and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think what I enjoyed the most was Gavin experiencing just what his actions in the past created for the present/future time. It was so interesting to read about Gavin’s travels to and from different time periods for specific reasons. He meets so many different people, including his parents. Gavin also meets the love of his life. That turns into a whole lot of trouble and happiness and disbelief for Gavin.
I liked Estelle and Bud. I would have liked them more except for their decisions early on in Gavin’s life. I was happy to see the three of them falling in line with each other as if no time had passed since the last time they had seen each other. Gavin’s parents were interesting. They have their secrets but it is clear that they truly care about Gavin. The other characters, namely Mario, Naima and Axel, Alanna, and Yogi, all added to this story and gave it their own interesting twists.
Was some of this book hard to believe? Yes. It was difficult for me to hear Gavin, a 17 year old boy, describe various scenes, most notably the restaurant on his birthday, with such detail and awe. I reasoned that it was because he is so into photography. But part of me kept saying, “But he’s a 17 year old boy! He wouldn’t think about such details!” I’m not sure which way to go with that. Did it distract from my reading an enjoyment of the novel? No.
Another thing that kind of bugged me was the use of actual historical events and people along with the use of fictional historical events and people. There is mention of a President Bower and a threat of an all out war. I have no problem with this on its own. However, when the main character travels to places and events that actually occurred – Hooverville during the Great Depression, the Salem witch trials – then there is reference to a fictional person, President Bower, well, that just bugs me. Either make it all actual historical facts or make it all fictional reality. Not both. Also, there were quite a few typos throughout my copy of The Photo Traveler. That kind of bugged me because some of the typos were rather obvious. However, it didn’t detract from the overall story. It wasn’t enough to make me not want to read the book.
Was I happy about the ending? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why did it have to end on such a cliffhanger????? WHY???? I will have to wait until The Peace Hunter is released because I must know what happens next!!!!!!!!!!!!
Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good time travel book.
Will I read it again: I will not but I will read book #2 in this series, The Peace Hunter.
About the book: 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.
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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Happy reading wherever you are and whenever you get a free chance!!!