The Photo Traveler

The Photo Traveler

by Arthur J Gonzalez


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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, life will never be the same.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988891630
Publisher: Arthur J Gonzalez
Publication date: 02/28/2013
Pages: 420
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.93(d)

About the Author

THE PHOTO TRAVELER is young adult author Arthur J. Gonzalez's first novel. Arthur was born and raised in Miami surrounded by his loud Cuban family. He graduated from the University of Florida, where he acquired his coffee obsession and his chocolate hoarding antics. He's the proud father of one baby girl, Sookie--his miniature schnoodle dog. Arthur is a self-professed goofball who spends 98% of his life laughing. He's now working on his second novel.

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The Photo Traveler 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just from what i've heard of this book it seems amazing.
LJCapehart More than 1 year ago
I was drawn to read this after reading the description. Its a neat concept-to travel through time with the use of a picture! It may be a first book by this young man, but it was very good! I found myself looking forward to finding time to read so I could find out what happened next. The story is full of action, with characters that I want to read more of, and I'm looking forward to the sequel...I hope it doesn't take too long to write! I was given a copy of this through Story Cartel in exchange for my honest review.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers' Favorite Many people use the phrase ‘getting lost in an image’ but what if it really happened? In The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez, that is exactly the position Gavin finds himself in when he finally locates his biological grandparents. Living with adoptive parents after a devastating fire destroys his home and apparently kills his parents, Gavin lives through the horror of the death of his new mother, hostility of an older sister, and increasing abuse from his ‘dad.’ Just before his 18th birthday, when the situation escalates totally out of control, he leaves this dysfunctional environment in Nevada and travels to the last known address of Ed and Estelle Greene, the parents of his father. There, he learns about his unique ability to travel into the actual time and place of any photograph. Now anxious to track his parents, Gavin begins to travel in time where he discovers some very unsettling information and has to face the consequences of altering the past. The important question is whether the present will remain the one he knows or if things are thrown completely out of balance. The Photo Traveler is a unique story dealing with time travel and the seriousness of the so-called ‘butterfly effect.’ Gavin is thrust into extraordinary circumstances when he learns of his legacy as a photo traveler and the fact that there are only very few of these special individuals left. He does not know who he can trust and is forced to think quickly in many situations when the players show their true colors. The Photo Traveler is an exciting story that opens up plenty of questions about the nature of time, making choices, and changing your mind. It is up to each person to decide if being able to go back in the past is really a good thing or not. Like they say, you have to be careful what you wish for.
Chrissy_W More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars 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. (I received a copy of this book for review purposes.)
Momma_Chaos More than 1 year ago
Gavin has had a miserable life. Losing his parents at a young age, he ends up in foster care and then adopted. He was loved in that family until the day he received yet another loss- his adoptive mom was murdered and his adoptive father becomes even worse - drinking and beatings. One day he discovers he has living grandparents and strikes out to find them. One would think that life can only go uphill from here for Gavin. He does find his grandparents and now has a loving family but also now knows the secret of his legacy- he is a photo traveler. Gavin will endure even more loss, along with more love than he's known. I really enjoyed reading The Photo Traveler. The ability to go into a photo and go back to that exact time is amazing. This book will pull you in. There were plenty of twists and turns happening all the time. As I was finishing the book, I had maybe 20 pages left and had to stop for the evening. I assumed the last 20 pages would just be wrapping things up but when I picked it up the next morning I was shocked at how many new twists happened -leading us into a second book in the series! Just when you think it's over - BOOM! some new twist happens and you're going in a different direction! I love these kinds of books that keep you thinking and constantly reassessing everything! One particular idea that I loved was the fact that although Gavin's parents "died" when he was 4years old, he is now able to go visit them and build a relationship with them thru photos. Now some might feel it's cheating to do this, but I loved it. He has been through so much, it's nice of the author to allow him this little concession! All in all, I felt this was a well written Young Adult book. Plenty of action abounds with a splash of romance thrown in to keep us girls happy! Check it out and let me know what you think!! 4.5 Stars * I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. *
WhatsBeyondForks More than 1 year ago
The story was pretty fast paced and there was a lot going on to keep my attention. There were a few plot holes and unanswered questions that distracted me from fully enjoying the story though. The Photo Traveler by Arthur J Gonzalez was provided to me by the Xpresso Tours for review. The opinions are my own.
ToManyBooksNotEnoughTime More than 1 year ago
I was lucky enough to get a free copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review - but I had already purchased the book by the time I learned of this bonus. :-) This story looks at time travel from a very unique perspective. Rather than using your traditional standing-stones or circles, and not based upon ley-lines, instead these few time travelers are able to jump from where they are into any photographer. The trick is that it must be a photograph, not a drawing or a painting, but a real photograph that hasn't been digitally manipulated. (Though the issue of digital manipulation in a photo has not yet been brought up - either because the author hasn't thought go it yet, or because he has plans for the theme in a future book in the series.) Gavin is the main character, and when we first meet him he is living in a terrible situation. His family was killed when he was four, and from there he went into a foster home for a year, and they adopt him at the end of that year. Gavin was relatively happy and adored his new Mommy, Leyla. She was the center of his new world, so when she died protecting him from some robbers in the local corner store, life fell apart for Gavin all over again. Except now he was stuck with a family that blamed him for the death of a beloved wife and mother. Over the years Jet, his adoptive father, beat him regularly, while his older "sister" was treated like a princess and would continually telling 'Daddy' lies about Gavin just to get his punishment increased. One day Gavin learns a shocking truth about his past, a truth that forever changes his future. One that makes it impossible to know who he can trust and who is an enemy. The characters are interesting, and feel very authentic to themselves and to their ages. They seem to react in a manner that we would deem normal for their age, yet they also do some maturing as the story unfolds. And, like most teenagers, they also make the same mistakes more than once. The story arc is well done, with bits of crucial material being delivered when most needed by the characters and readers, but never in a blunt manner. They are woven into the story so that they fit very naturally. This story deals with some very interesting concepts, not the least of which are the ramifications when history is altered, be it by plan or human error. No pat answer is given, leaving the characters and readers alike to experience differing levels of change and figuring out if they can be undone, not too mention the question of should they be undone once they've been made. Hopefully we will learn more in the second book of the series, and since none of us can travel through photos, we'll have to wait with the rest for that book to come out.
Myra-PiecesofWhimsy More than 1 year ago
The author sent me a paperback copy of this book to review for a blog tour and what an amazingly nice surprise it was to find out that he signed it! I sat down to read the book, then noticed there was a lovely message written in the front for me, it was very exciting and made for a lovely start to the book! I really liked the writing style of this book. It was easy to fall into and before I knew it, I'd already finished half of the book! I was really excited about the subject of the story too as I've been quite obsessed with time-travel of late. I'm not sure I liked the idea that it was okay (and encouraged) for Gavin to go back and spend time with his parent. I think it just felt too easy and I wanted more opposition and difficulty (as cruel as that sounds) because it makes for a more interesting read. The characters were all very cool, though I feel their characters emerged too suddenly. What I mean by that is I could tell most of the character within the first couple of sentences and while there were still some secrets, it wasn't anything major enough for me to go wow, I did not see the character doing that. It took me a bit to warm up to Gavin too, but I understand why his emotions were quite haywire for the first few chapters, I'm sure mine would be if I were in that position, none-the-less his character wasn't immediately lovable though Gavin did grow on me. This book had a nice, easy writing style and the story was really fun and different. This book may seem big but once you get into it, it seems to take almost no time to be read because everything just flows so well. A unique idea on time travel that I really enjoyed.
MarkedByBooks More than 1 year ago
The concept for this book is pretty incredible. A group of people called photo travelers have the ability to travel through time and space via images that they find. So let's say that you have this newspaper clipping with a picture on it. You say a few fancy words, and then suddenly you're sucked into this vortex-like thing, and next thing you know, you're standing right in the middle of the image you were looking at in the time it was created. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, yeah. That's because it is. This is the life that Gavin suddenly finds himself in after he leaves his abusive foster home in search of the grandparents he never knew existed. His original plan is to figure out why they never took him in after his parents passed and to hopefully stay far, far away from his "family" and all of the pain it causes him. I feel kind of awful saying this, but the Hillstone family was one of my favorite parts of the novel. Yeah, yeah, the ones that are left are pretty awful human beings (though Dina's not really that bad once she comes to her senses), but I found the mechanics of this extremely screwed up family to be very interesting. They are so much a part of Gavin already, even in their worst moments, that he would definitely not be the same person without every single one of them. I also really liked his new family, Bud and Estelle. They were great people, and it was obvious how much they both cared about him, even when they weren't able to be anywhere near him. Out of all of the characters, they probably felt the most real to me. In general, this book ranks pretty high on the adventurous scale, considering that there are no limits to any sort of setting for the novel. Except, apparently dinosaurs. Darn. Just so we're clear, though, I would have tried it too, Gavin. Really the only things that I wasn't immensely fond of were the rhymes that they had to recite before they could travel anywhere. Seemed a little too much like magic words to me. Kind of cheesy. Also, the story tended to seem rushed at times, and it would have been nice if Gavin was willing to stop and smell those proverbial roses. Wherever they are. Aside from that, this book left me in a pretty good place. I obviously had a lot of questions (gee thanks, cliffhanger!) like what happens to a certain few somebodies that I'm not allowed to mention for fear of ruining everything for you guys. Sorry! Something that I was interested in figuring out is what it would look like to an outside observer when the photo travelers do their thing. Do they get sucked into the image? Or is it just more of a poof! and they're gone kind of deal? That might be fun to explore. One more thing, though, and this is really just out of personal curiosity. I understand that when you go back in time to the same picture twice, the people there won't remember the first visit because it technically hasn't happened. Well if that's true, then why don't the photo travelers just go back again every time they screw up the timeline, so it would be like their mistakes never happened? I don't know, would that work? Taylor
CC_Graziano More than 1 year ago
A review copy was provided for an honest review. 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.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
'The Photo Traveler' is a fascinating young adult paranormal novel that deals with the ability to travel through time via pictures. Gavin Hillstone leads a really crappy life and he knows it. The only solace he has is when he's taking pictures of beautiful things around him. One day, Gavin stumbles upon a secret - he is one of the last descendants of a group of people called Photo Travelers - people who can time travel through pictures. With his newfound ability awakened, Gavin finds himself journeying back through time to various historical events across the globe, all while trying to evade the Peace Hunters - another group of Photo Travelers who wants to steal what Gavin has. Gavin's old life is far behind him, and his new life will take him places he only dreamed about. This was a really interesting premise for a novel and I loved that it was unique to the genre. I haven't read anything like it before, so it was a great journey for me as a reader. The main character, Gavin, was a decent main character. He got a bad hand in life from the beginning, but learned how to make the most of it with his photography. We don't see a lot of character growth throughout the book, but he does embrace his destiny as a Photo Traveler and races to stop the cult of other Photo Travelers who mean to do him and his family harm. The writing was fast paced and contained a blend of several genres - fantasy, action, time travel, science fiction, and adventure all intertwined to make an original novel. The author did a great job of portraying past historical events and I loved getting an inside look at things from the past as if I was there alongside Gavin experiencing it instead of just reading about them or seeing pictures. Overall, this was a great fantasy/time travel novel that had vivid descriptions and attention to detail that fans of the genre will truly appreciate. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the voice of the main character, Gavin. Felt like he really sounded like a teenager. (So many books nowadays are so obviously written by adults pretending to be a teen and fail miserably.) Concept is pretty original and the story loves along well. Overall, a very fun read. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series when it comes out!