The Photo Traveler #1
Published by Fahrenheit Publishing on February 20, 2013
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult
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.
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
Seventeen-year-old Gavin Hillstone has been in foster care with an abusive father since his parents died in a fire at a young age. The only thing that lets him escape the torturous life is taking photos. Just when he thinks that he’s going to be miserable for the rest of his life, he finds out that his dad’s parents are still alive and enters the dangerous world of a small group of people called Photo Travelers.
I honest to goodness hate his adoptive family, except for maybe Dina and Leyla. What a nasty temper his adoptive father has. I’m so glad Gavin found his grandparents, because if I could, I would probably say good riddance to Jet (of course, if I actually said it… it would probably get pretty… ugly). Then there’s Gavin’s adoptive sister. Mel. I was thinking she at least changed a bit when she went after him after he left. I mean, I can see why she would act like that, but still… I’m sad to say I’m disappointed in her. 🙁
I guess that shows manipulative the villain is. 2 simple words with very simple (and good, if you look in the dictionary…) meanings… yet totally against what the other Photo Travelers are thinking of. It’s kind of ironic what they mean to do for the good of mankind in the future, yet they can still break rules of all kinds.
Gavin is a pretty likable character in broad terms. He’s loyal and protective when his family and friends are threatened by others. Though when it comes to some of his actions, I sometimes just want to give him a facepalm and ask, “Why, Gavin, whyyy?”
I love how The Photo Traveler started. My very first thought after reading the prologue was, “Oh boy, this is going to a great ‘ride!’” I also love how Gonzalez was very accurate (at least in historical facts) when it came to Gavin’s trips to places such as the Salem Witch Trials and the Great Depression. What’s a bit aggravating about the book, however, is the dialogue. The characters, including Gavin himself, just seem so… happy, excited or yelling all the time. There just seems to be a bit of overuse in exclamation marks. :/
Then there’s the ending. There’s always that dreadful last few sentences at the end of the book where you hit the end and it seems to say right back, “The End.” With a lovely little cliffhanger. Somehow, you just want to say, “But… but… it was just beginning to get really interesting!” Despite the little mini protests, no one’s going to hear me, so I’ll hide in a cozy little corner, sip something nice and cold, and read on (after all, it’s summer and time to… chillax). *unhappy face* I’m so glad cliffhangers don’t have the ability to laugh at me… otherwise I’ll be laughed at often. >_<