Book Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez

September 10, 2015 Book review 10 ★★★½

The Photo Traveler was so much better than I thought it would be. I think the awful cover is why I didn’t read it sooner, the cover shouldn’t affect my reading choice but it does! Call me shallow but as this book has to do with photography and the power of images, I do think a more imaginative and artistic cover would work well in its favour. Once I got over my cover snobbery, I was delighted to find that it had a very creative theme and an interesting main character who grew up a lot during the book.

Book Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. GonzalezThe Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez
Published by Arthur J Gonzalez on February 18th 2013
Pages: 420
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon

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.

Lively Pace
Loved travelling via the photos to the different settings. I felt the settings came to life and I loved the flavour they added to the story.
Interesting male pov and I fully appreciated that it was a male author writing a male pov as it just came across as authentic.
The time travel element was a bit mind boggling with its implications which I loved!

Insta-love. It was a bad case of insta-love and I wanted to eye-roll. On the other hand it was also kind of cute, I just wished it had been built up a little better.
The main character seemed a bit immature at times. BUT I did enjoy his growth during the book.

Overall I’m glad I finally made time for this one and I have every intention of reading book 2 now. Because, cliffhanger!


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: three-half-stars


I would like to thank Arthur Gonzalez for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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10 Responses to “Book Review: The Photo Traveler by Arthur J. Gonzalez”

  1. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    I actually have this on my TBR too. I got a copy somehow a long time ago and for some reason I actually thought I read it! haha I think it was that I was staring at the cover for so long haha 🙂
    Anyway I am a cover snob too although I try not to be 😐 It’s good to read about a book I always wonder about is actually good or not.. Although nay for insta-love (boo)!
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Finished Series I have YET to finish!!

    • trish

      I had it on my TBR for the longest time too but somehow never really felt in the mood to read it. But I’m glad now I finally took the time to read it, it wasn’t wow but it was definitely worth reading.

  2. Rita @ View From My Home

    I do hold book covers up to a certain standard! If it has what I consider an amateur or ugly cover, I will pass it by in a bookstore. Online, if a book with a poor cover is highly recommended I will still read it. But in person, it will make or break my decision to look into it further.

    Glad the story was very good for you, after you got past the cover. Thanks for a good review.
    Rita @ View From My Home recently posted…Cooking As Fast As I Can Review

    • trish

      I’m the same as you Rita when it comes to book covers, I do ALL of that too. I’m glad I ended up trying this one and it was definitely an enjoyable read.

  3. Wattle

    The cover really does give nothing away about the plot, it looks like it should be on the jacket of a science documentary dvd from the 90s lol

    The plot does sound pretty interesting though, what a neat idea, to be able to travel through photos!
    Wattle recently posted…Showcase Sunday #33

  4. Lola

    Same here, the cover does play a role in my reading choiches and this one wouldn’t have catched my attention if I only see the cover. I am not a fan of time travel stories though, so not sure if I would enjoy it. The traveling by pictures sounds interesting! And how the settings came alive sounds well done, I love it when an author can write a setting so well it comes alive. Great review!
    Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #143

    • trish

      If you don’t like time travel, then yes not really the book for you! But thanks for reading the review anyway 🙂 I’m such a nerd and love all the time travel books!

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