Thursday, June 13, 2013

Missing in Machu Picchu

Missing in Machu Picchu
Author: Cecilia Velastegui
Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: Libros Publishing, LLC (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985176946
ISBN-13: 978-0985176945

Book Description:
Machu Picchu shrouds many secrets, visible only to those who enter with a pure heart. Only then can one ask the ancient oracles: Will hearts crushed by deception ever heal? And can a heinous sacrifice be stopped in time?

From internationally acclaimed Cecilia Velástegui, author of Traces of Bliss and Gathering the Indigo Maidens, now comes a riveting cautionary tale in which the ancient and the contemporary collide. High in the Andes Mountains on the legendary Inca Trail, four women wishing for an adventure to soothe their broken hearts find themselves victim to a predator’s ruse—and soon in a fight for their very lives.

Hilary, Mercy, Tiffany, and Gabby, all thirty-something professional women who’ve been burned by men they’ve met through online dating, gather on an Ivy League alum hike of the Inca Trail, intent on leaving romance behind. But their mountain adventure turns menacing when the flooding and mudslides of January 29, 2010 destroy parts of the trail and cut off communication with the outside world. They have no choice but to place their lives in the hands of Rodrigo, their handsome and uncannily magnetic hike leader. As Rodrigo leads them ever higher toward the ancient citadel of Machu Picchu, the women begin to fall for his charms, and friend is pitted against friend as each woman brazenly vies for Rodrigo’s attentions.

Rodrigo manipulates the women into participating in a heinous ancient sacrifice that will guarantee the success of his megalomaniac dreams. But unbeknownst to the hikers, they have been under the vigilant watch of Taki and Koyam, two elderly indigenous women who understand the danger the women are facing. By following the wisdom of their mummified Andean ancestor, Taki and Koyam attempt to save the women, and act with spine-tingling resolve against the sinister forces of Rodrigo and his minions.

With intelligence and keen insight into the dark side of cyber dating and the foreigners who have treated Machu Picchu’s rich past with disrespect, Velástegui delivers a fiercely original, deeply imagined, and beautifully rendered novel in which timeless struggles of love and hate, life and death, and treachery and loyalty play out within the mystical ambience of one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

Idgie Says:
I'm a little torn on this book.  The story line is certainly interesting - with the battle between the new modern cyber world and ancient curses and ways - but I found it hard to care about the characters and what might or does happen to them.  The women were all pretty much out for themselves and less than interested in helping each other.  I didn't care much for them.   I did like the two elder ladies who hoped to help them, whether they felt they deserved it or not.   Some rather hardcore sex talk occurs in the story also, but not in a romantic sense. 

This is an interesting book to learn more about the area and land of Machu Picchu, and of course learning about ancient ways of controlling life - good or bad - are always interesting to read about, but I could take or leave the people involved.

Again though, as I always say, I'm not touting this as a bad novel, I'm saying I personally couldn't connect with the characters - that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it.

Q & A with the author HERE.