Monday, June 10, 2013

First Chapter Review: Missing in Machu Picchu by Cecilia Velástegui

The first chapter of Missing in Machu Picchu from internationally acclaimed author Cecilia Velástegui, was submitted for my consideration by her publicist.

BLURB: 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.

COVER: Nicely done. The setting and some of the main characters are featured. The creepy-looking fog speaks to the more frightening aspects of the story.

FIRST CHAPTER:  Local street vendors Koyam and Taki are waiting to hear some juicy gossip from the many foreigners who visit Machu Picchu. When they overhear the name Rodrigo uttered by some female tourists, their attitudes swiftly change and they move closer to hear more.

KEEP READING: Positively. I'm fascinated by this eloquently told tale set in an area I know little about. My son and daughter-in-law have visited Machu Picchu, and his discussion of bartering with the street vendors stuck in my mind. I have to admit his travel memories weighed heavily in me deciding to read the first chapter of the book. The storyline, however, soon captured my full attention. With rich details and engaging characters, Velástegui quickly sets up a novel where the ancient past and the present are destined to collide.

The opening begins with Koyam and Taki, but based upon the synopsis, we know these gringas they overhear talking about Rodrigo are pivotal to the story. Immediately our interest piqued. Then enters in Koyam's complaint that her modern great-granddaughters wish she wouldn't scare the tourists (their bread and butter) with stories of ancient sacrifices and other mumbo-jumbo they don't believe in. The foundation of this story is swiftly established and you are captivated by it.

I definitely want to see how this story plays out.

Hardcover: 344 pages
Publisher: Libros Publishing, LLC (June 4, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0985176946
ISBN-13: 978-0985176945

I received this first chapter from the author's publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

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