Missing in Machu Picchuby Cecilia Velastegui
High in the Andes Mountains on the legendary Inca Trail, four thirty-something professional women embark on an Ivy League hike to help them confront their online dating dependency, only to find themselves victims of a predator's ruse, and soon in a fight for their very lives. The women are eager to leave relationships behind for a while, but their intent to cast
High in the Andes Mountains on the legendary Inca Trail, four thirty-something professional women embark on an Ivy League hike to help them confront their online dating dependency, only to find themselves victims of a predator's ruse, and soon in a fight for their very lives. The women are eager to leave relationships behind for a while, but their intent to cast off their search for a soul mate falls by the wayside when handsome, magnetic Rodrigo, their hike leader, proves too mesmerizing to resist. Friend is pitted against friend as the women vie for Rodrigo's attentions. Rodrigo manipulates them into participating in a heinous ancient sacrifice that will guarantee the success of his megalomaniacal dreams. But unbeknownst to the hikers, they have been under the vigilant presence of Taki and Koyam, two elderly indigenous women who understand the danger the women are facing at the hands of Rodrigo.
--ForeWord Review, 5 Stars out of 5
"The twists and turn of the plot are as intriguing as the beautiful descriptions of the Inca Trail."
--US Review of Books
- Libros Publishing
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- 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
What People are Saying About This
ForeWord Review, 5 Stars out of 5
"The twists and turn of the plot are as intriguing as the beautiful descriptions of the Inca Trail."
US Review of Books
Meet the Author
Cecilia Velastegui was born high up in the Andes Mountains in Quito, Ecuador, where she spent her childhood. Although she now lives at sea level, she still owns two friendly alpacas. She was raised in California and France, and has traveled to over fifty countries. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, and speaks four languages. Velastegui's previous novel, Traces of Bliss, received First Place in Popular Fiction at the International Latino Book Awards in June 2012. It was also selected by the Association of American Publishers on the 2012 Las Comadres and Friends National Latino Book Club. Her debut novel, Gathering the Indigo Maidens, was a finalist in four categories in the International Latino Book Awards. She donates a portion of her proceeds to the fight against human trafficking, which is an underlying theme in her novels.
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This is a very interesting book and semi-historical account, where the author cleverly uses creative license and a great deal of personal research to create an intriguing story which will captivate most readers. This novel is set in 2010, during a torrential rain in Machu Picchu, Peru. Four intelligent women go on a hike of the Inca Trail during the storm and face unbelievable dangers from the elements and from their megalomaniac, but very sensual, hike leader. The unusual characters, the original plot and the subplots are beautifully interwoven to form, perhaps, one of the best new novels of I’ve read in years.
In this very atmospheric, visual, historical novel, Velástegui tells us a cautionary tale about the perils of on line dating, but she sets this very contemporary situation on the Inca Trail in ancient Machu Picchu. The author blends the supernatural, the history of Peru, folktales, and the spine-chilling story of four women on a perilous hike with a madman. Our book club chose this book because of the setting since a few members were going on a hike in Peru. Once they returned, the other club members couldn’t stop talking about how accurate the author’s depiction of Cusco, the Inca Trail, and the indigenous Peruvians.
2.5 Stars 'Missing In Machu Picchu' is a contemporary fiction novel that follows four friends who get together to hike the Andes Mountains and to catch up with each other's lives. Along the way, they realize they have been misled and must now find a way to survive. Enter in the gorgeous hike guide named Rodrigo, and the friends find themselves vying for his attention while turning on each other in the process. Only Rodrigo isn't who he seems and the four women will find out just what they are made of if they are going to make it back alive. This novel had an interesting premise and the plot sounded promising, but the writing and the lack of character development made it come up short for me. The writing itself was done well enough, but the dialogue felt forced and unnatural and the descriptions seemed to be overdone. The characters were all stereotypical and not developed at all - they didn't really have any personalities and I wasn't able to identify on a deeper level with any of them. Things did get a big cheesy when they all fight over their typical "hot and mysterious bad-boy" tour guide. After that, the book completely lost it's grip on me and I didn't have much interest left. The ending wasn't bad, but what happened in the middle of the book could have been done in a more accessible way for the reader to invest in both the plot and in the characters. The writing was pretty good and flowed well most of the time, but there were parts that felt false and choppy. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve read all of Cecilia Velastegui’s novels and I’ve learned so much from all of them. She is from South America and she’s lived in many countries. In this novel, I really appreciated her knowledge of the ancient Inca’s and the believes and traditions that their descendants still honor. I thought that the four, Ivy League graduates, who are the main characters, were very complex characters, but I loved the two elderly, indigenous, women who recognized the evil that the American hikers were facing, and they set out to rescue them using totally unique ways to defeat evil. I recommend this novel to people who love to read accurate descriptions of other cultures and how we Americans interact with these cultures when we travel abroad.
There are many aspects of this book I really liked. I greatly enjoyed the language describing Machu Picchu. It was descriptive and made the setting come alive. I look forward to my my upcoming visit to Peru. The elderly characters, Taki and Koyam, are complex, interesting, and I learned a lot from their wisdom. I strongly recommend this book to readers who want to learn about other cultures but also like a current setting.
Be careful what you wish for Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (11/12) Go along on a beautiful journey in “Missing in Machu Picchu” by Cecelia Velástegui. When a group of women who are Ivy League alumni, including a couple of wannabes, get together to go on a mystical tour of Machu Picchu they end up getting more than they bargained for. Deciding to take the trip to purge themselves of their addiction to online dating, they end up learning a lot more about themselves and why they have had to resort to going online to meet potential mates. The women admit to being fed up with the lies that they are told by their potential suitors, however, as the trip progresses, they realize that they are also misleading these men. The truth hurts. What really hurts even more is the fact that their handsome, sexy tour guide Rodrigo has plans to take advantage of what little vulnerability they have. Rodrigo has a history of using poor, young Peruvian ladies. It is rumored that the offspring of these relationships end up getting sold illegally to wealthy foreigners. When he met Violette, a wealthy French woman, Rodrigo promised her love and a child. Since she was barren, the child was to be from one of the young women. After the child was stillborn, Violette also discovered that Rodrigo had stolen her fortune. Caught up in her anger at his deception, she accused him of sacrificing the child. Overwrought with emotion, Violette appeared to be mentally unstable when she went to court. This caused her to be expelled from Peru and for Rodrigo to become an outcast. At the same time that Violette decides to return for revenge, Rodrigo sneaks back and sets up a tour with the spoiled Americans. To put his plan into motion, Rodrigo secretly works at seducing the women on the tour. He figures out their weaknesses and for some reason they fall for it. Joining the tour to assist Rodrigo is a band a misfits. They are in on most of his plan, and believe that when he gets what he wants they will be greatly rewarded. Following the group bent on revenge is Violette and two elderly Peruvian women named Taki and Koyam. These women want to halt his activities before he hurts more people. Taki has a special gift of being able to communicate with the mallqui, who are the mummified remains of ancient ancestors. Knowing where some are hidden from the government and looters, Taki protects them. As the journey progresses Rodrigo begins to show his true nature and his insane plan comes to light. The ladies have to decide if they are going to fight for the group or just themselves. Taki and Koyam have to rely on their special gifts to try to save them from both Rodrigo and Violette. One would question whether or not they are worth the trouble. It is during this most trying time that the ladies start figuring out the truth about their selves. “Missing in Machu Picchu” by Cecelia Velástegui is another beautifully written novel by Cecelia Velastegui. Combining historical fact with a modern fictional story takes the reader on an incredible journey. The mysticism and beauty behind the mallqui adds to the drama. Incorporating real pictures and drawings into the book brings it to life. It also made me interested in investigating more about the history of Machu Picchu, which I did. As with her other novels, readers will not be disappointed and really enjoy immersing themselves in this story.