Title: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction/Time Travel
Published by: Fahrenheit Publishing (Feb. 20, 2013)
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.
What I Thought
I had never heard of The Photo Traveler, before I saw an advertisement for it on Epic Reads. Instantly, I was intrigued, which is something, because I usually don’t pay much attention to advertisements at the side of my screen. I saw it was only $0.99 at the Nook store, so I decided to go ahead and buy it.
I was hooked pretty quickly. I found the story really intriguing and I was drawn to the idea of time traveling through photos. I loved the plot! I also loved how Gavin talked and acted like a regular 17 year old. It made his character seem realistic. I also loved Gavin’s relationship with his grandparents.
I have to say the only thing I didn’t entirely care for about this book, was that some of the events and relationships happened very quickly. Without spoiling anything, I felt like certain moments were being built up to happen slowly, and over time, and then all of a sudden they were already happening.
Also, like most self-published books I’ve read, I caught a couple of typos, but for me at least, they didn’t distract from the story any way.
So, overall, I highly recommend this book! I think fans of time travel would really enjoy this book, but it’s not too complicated or confusing that I think even readers who don’t typically enjoy time travel novels would still enjoy this one.
*Review originally written July 2013*
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