May 9, 2013

Blog Tour: The Photo Traveler by: Arthur J. Gonzalez (Review & Giveaway)

The Photo Traveler by: Arthur J. Gonzalez (2013)
Publisher: Fahrenheit Publishing
353 pages
Genre: YA/Time Travel
Synopsis: 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

Time traveling through photos… I wish I could do that! This is a unique idea that the author did a nice job at explaining well and making it believable. While reading I kept trying to decide where I would want to jump back to in time and what photo I would use. I have yet to decide on this because I just can’t make up my mind, but boy would that be cool. 

The Photo Traveler is about Gavin, a teenager who is just trying to find his place in the world. I connected with Gavin, and that my friends is a deal breaker. I need to feel something for the characters in a book for me to enjoy it and luckily I did while reading The Photo Traveler. I felt for Gavin and cheered him on, hoping he finds a happier life. Having a male point of view in a young adult novel is refreshing and done well in this book. There were times when Gavin really frustrated me, but no one can be perfect. He just trusted too easily at times which didn't make any sense given his upbringing, but that was just a very tiny flaw. Although the minor characters in this book were not astounding they held their own and tended to grow on me.

The adventurous plot with a secret society had me smiling. It was a fun read and with each chapter I grew more nervous about the impending match up with the “bad guys.” There was even one moment where I was completely shocked at the plot twist, and I’m not shocked easily. Therefore this book gets added bonus points. This book if nothing else, is full of action, and I love a lot of action in my books. My favorite parts of the whole novel were when Gavin jumped back in time. It was fun to experience it with him, and was full of great descriptions. The only thing that actually bothered me while reading The Photo Travel was the excess use of exclamation points. I know I overuse them sometimes when talking to someone online, but I felt that for a book it was slightly overdone. I also felt like there were very tiny plot holes at times, but nothing that bothered me. They could easily be addressed in the next novel, so no worries there. I am very interested to see what is up next for Gavin.

Although this isn't one of my all time favorite reads, it was very enjoyable and is definitely worth a look. If you are a fan of photography, history, time traveling, and/or want a change of pace with a male point of view, then this book is for you. It is a fun and easy read with a new and interesting concept, traveling through time using photos. 

Oh and I just want you to know that I have some major cover love for this one!

** Thank you Xpresso Book Tours and author Arthur Gonzalez for giving me the chance to read and review this novel! Thanks for the free copy. It in no way impacted my honest review.  

RATING 3.5/5 


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. Thank you so much for participatig, and for a wonderful review.

    Good point with the '!'. Will keep that in mind as I write The Peace Hunter !(woops.) ;)

  2. Replies
    1. Congrats on the great debut novel and thanks for stopping by!

  3. Definite cover love for this one, too! :) Great review, doll! I'm glad you liked it!

    1. Thanks for having me on this tour! It was a really fun book to read.

  4. Oo This is the first time I'm hearing about this! As you probably know by now I (1) love male POV and (2) love action stories but I am also intrigued by time travel and am a budding photographer! This book sounds like it might be a good fit for me. I won't run out and get it immediately (I reserve that for your 5 star ratings ;)) but I will definitely add it to my TBR and keep it in mind! Thanks for the great review! :D

    1. You are very welcome. I'm the same way with your reviews, when it is 5 stars I move it up on my TBR pile, but below that I just wait till I have time and don't rush. lol I wish we could stop time so we could read all the books! Then it wouldn't matter. :)

  5. I love the cover and the while the concept of time travel isn't new I do love the whole photo twist, wonderful review!

    1. Thanks. That cover is just really striking!

  6. You're right, Kay, this is a stunning cover! I also have to give bonus points for the original concept AND for fusing that along with time travel. It's one of those things I wanedt to see more of in books. And action... well, you know how I love me some good action! This sounds like one of those books that might not be very deep and meaningful but it sure will be fun!

    1. I have a major crush on the cover. I just loved the idea about traveling in time through photos. You are right, it isn't very deep but it was a fun read.


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