Monday, May 13, 2013

The Photo Traveler (Review)

*Hello and welcome everyone to my stop of the Photo Traveler Blog Tour!! Underneath you will find my review of this awesomely compelling novel!*

*Presented by: Xpresso Book Tours!*

Release Date: February 20th, 2013
Genre(s): YA Science Fiction

My Review: (5/5 stars*)

The Photo Traveler is an excellent science fiction novel that stands apart from the usual time-traveler plots. The central character of the story Gavin is a strong-willed and brave seventeen-year-old. He protects his family with everything that he has and makes difficult choices in order to keep them safe. There's many qualities about him that you can easily connect with. When I first started reading I told myself I was just going to read the first couple of pages and then hours later I still had the book in my hands. I was captivated with Gavin's story and so completely absorbed that the world ceased to exist outside of what I was reading. The writing is nicely polished, wonderfully descriptive, and told so well that you'll be drawn in within minutes. For once there was never a boring moment everything just flowed and moved forward terrifically. It was thrilling, heartbreaking, joyous, and tense - there's a range of emotions expressed throughout the book and you'll feel every one. The historical periods are some of the most interesting parts of the book because of how real they felt and naturally integrated they were into the story.

The entire novel is like an amazing journey full of twists and turns. I was reminded of Jumper while reading which is one of my favorite movies and this was better. Gavin's grandparents are awesome and many of the characters introduced are very well written and I loved each of their roles. Every little thing felt significant in the story, it wasn't predictable, and it was unbelievably entertaining throughout. The history of Photo Travelers is wicked cool as is the ability of them. The fact that there is rules that they have to follow only adds to the intrigue. The Photo Traveler is complex yet simple to follow. It's a lot of fun to think about the possibilities of time traveling through photos as it is truly a unique idea and this book won't let you down!

Gavin Hillstone has led a rough life thanks to an alcoholic and abusive foster parent. Having lost his biological parents at such a young age he was put into the system and adopted. In the beginning everything was great, his family treated him good until a tragedy took the life of his foster mom—that's when everything went downhill. Having taken more beatings than he could count Gavin finally gives up and that's when everything changes. He discovers he has grandparents who may or may not be alive and he sets out to find them—no matter what it takes. When he does they tell him the truth of why they  didn't contact him sooner and they reveal a mind-blowing secret that will forever alter his life—and endanger it. It's revealed that he can travel through time by using photographs and so can his relatives. Gavin soon finds himself in peril just as he has found hope
that just might reunite him with everything he's lost and longed for.

The Photo Traveler is an exciting and original science fictional read that is utterly engrossing. It has plenty of action, drama, and even some romance to keep you flipping the pages. If you've ever felt that magnetic pull or compulsion that makes you want to find out what will happen next than you should know this novel has that effect. I'm really happy that their will be a part II as the book leaves off with multiple problems that need solving. Everyone who loves time-traveling books with ultra compelling plots, great characters, neat twists, and nonstop action will absolutely love this one.


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.


  1. Great review, Seirra sounds like you really enjoyed this one! I really like Time travel plots--my fav being Julie Cross's so far. I just like how you can do SO much with it and the author can create it's own science from it too.

    1. Giselle, it was a really great read :) Thanks for letting me be a part of the tour! Julie Cross' books are in my TBR pile, it's nice to know they're good! Time travel is a limitless topic and one I always find entertaining. I love to see authors reinvent the concept in new ways and I felt Arthur J. Gonzalez did that.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!



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