June 30, 2013

Review: Missing ni Machu Picchu by Cecilia Velastegui

Missing in Machu Picchu
Author: Cecilia Velastegui
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Libros Publishing


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. 

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. 

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