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The Cairo Codex (The Justine Trilogy #1)

3.43  ·  Rating Details  ·  97 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
When an earthquake nearly buries anthropologist Justine Jenner in an ancient crypt, she finds what appears to be an ancient codex which, if real, could radically threaten the world's great religions.

The Cairo Codex is a riveting novel of two women, two millennia apart, set in the exotic cultures of ancient and present-day Egypt. Dr. Justine Jenner has come to Cairo to forg
Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 6th 2013 by West Hills Press
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Jul 20, 2013 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. Amazing! Can't wait for the next book!
Aug 20, 2013 Amy rated it liked it
3.5 stars
The storytelling is interesting and well-paced, although not fast-paced. It takes its time unfolding. Throughout most of the book, I found myself thinking "This is a solid 3-star book," but in the final chapters, I realized I had grown to like the story more than I originally thought I would.

Justine is a recently-graduated American-born PhD in Egypt, hired to assist with evaluating schools for girls. Her father is an American archeologist with roots in Egypt, and her mother is an Egypt
Sep 19, 2013 Lara rated it really liked it
I won this book through the GoodReads First Reads Program and was excited to start it. The story follows a young woman anthropologist on her first professional assignment. She is half Egyptian and is pleased to return to Egypt for her work, although she has adjustments to make given the changes that have occurred. It is now 2005 and she was last there as a child. soon after she arrives she is caught in an earthquake while visiting an historical site and with realizing it picks up something that ...more
Jul 01, 2013 Chrissy rated it liked it
I received The Cairo Codex through the giveaways.

After reading The Cairo Codex, I can say that it was not what I expected. I have read several books where the main character in the present, in this case Dr. Jenner, reads a “diary” of someone in the past, in this case Mary. Therefore I had certain expectations before I started reading this book. In similar books the time spent on both the character in the present and the character in the past are usually fairly equal. However, that
Jaime Boler
Aug 14, 2013 Jaime Boler rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
In The Cairo Codex, Linda Lambert, former state department envoy to Egypt and author of several books on leadership, plunges the reader into pre-revolutionary Egypt and allows us to witness a nation on the brink of a social uprising. This is a subject Lambert knows well, and her expertise makes The Cairo Codex utterly gripping. She could have easily set her tale in Iraq or Israel, but the effect would not be as great. Writers are frequently told to write what they know best. Lambert does just th ...more
Sep 11, 2013 Howard rated it it was amazing
The Cairo Codex, a wonderfully written, well-researched and thoroughly enjoyable novel by Dr. Linda Lambert, reflects her first foray into the world of fiction. The protagonist, Justine Jenner, an anthropologist recently returning to Egypt to further women’s education and empowerment (a recurring theme through the writings of the author), discovers an ancient codex (manuscript). The contents of this codex profoundly shakes the prevailing concepts of Christianity, and nefarious forces conspire ag ...more
Hannah Smith
Dec 05, 2014 Hannah Smith rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 30, 2014 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Shelves: library
I wanted so badly to like this book. It was about Egypt! And religion! And had a vaguely Indiana Jones feel!

But I did not. The main character is the least likable heroine I have read in a long time. Hypothetically well-educated and bright, she contributes absolutely nothing to the actual plot of the story. Other than occasional dalliances with a guy who is clearly, from meet cute, a bad guy. She relies entirely on other characters to accomplish anything, and (quite frankly) is naive at best and
Sep 24, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
I won this book in a giveaway on Goodreads. It was very interesting, and I will be looking for the next two in the series when they come out. Well worth reading.
Rose Lorea
Sep 03, 2015 Rose Lorea rated it really liked it
Having traveled to Egypt, literally just prior to the revolution in 2010, I was more interested in the story of increasing tensions between the Christians and Muslims, how Muslim culture treats its women. In retrospect, it's interesting to have read about the rise and fall of the Muslim brotherhood government in Egypt just after the time of this story. Some of the author's predictions coming true even today. Egypt has such an enormous cultural history, I enjoyed reading about places both the mai ...more
Jan 31, 2014 Jan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this as a Goodreads first reads giveaway.

This was an excellent book that I thoroughly enjoyed. It is the first of a trilogy, and so I am looking forward to reading the next one.

Dr Justine Jenner is an anthropologist, born of an Egyptian mother and American father. Having grown up in America, she travels to a new job in Egypt to work with community schools educating Muslim girls. While visiting a crypt below one of the very old churches, an earthquake hits and she is briefly trapped. She gr
Ryan Rauber
Apr 04, 2014 Ryan Rauber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For the first 70% of this, it might as well have been called Justine's romantic adventures in Egypt. I was hoping for a thriller with a plot involving a possible diary of Mary of Nazareth. Instead we get this love story. When the codex does come front and center it becomes interesting, but of course we get a predictable ending. Not recommended.
Jul 01, 2013 Juanita rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This is an overall well-written book that examines a number of current social and politician issues in Egypt. The author takes the reader through the streets of Egypt in a well-described journey of discovery. The story is that of a young woman with strong connections to Egypt (mother is Egyptian and father is an archaeologist) back to the place of her childhood where she discovers an ancient diary which could overturn notions of beliefs of all of the major religious groups and the role of women ...more
Jul 04, 2013 Jody rated it really liked it
I received this book as an ARC through Goodreads and I am so glad I did. I love books with strong female characters and Justine is just such a character. She has her weak moments and trials throughout but in the end is just the right mix of strength and vulnerability. I enjoyed going back and forth from ancient to modern and seeing the strong women in both and how their lives were tied together. I also enjoyed reading about the Egypt of old and new. The twists that came throughout the book defin ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
Shelves: goodreads-books
As a woman who lived in the middle east, this book stirred memories of both the good and bad of the region. I also found eerie similarities between what is on the news right now about Egypt and the actions of the book's characters. This book raises the incredibly intriguing issue that what we take as the "gospel" truth may not be reality. It is fascinating to see the connections between religions, but how a small variation in a belief can cause the world to spiral into chaos and what people will ...more
Sep 15, 2013 Carrie rated it it was ok
The historical Novell that, in full sense, meanders around aimlessly. Very few game changers, very few agents of change. I wanted to like this book, and thought the first few chapters were intriguing. But, imagine a movie on pause every one minute for someone to over explain all political indices in Egypt. Nothing moves, the main charachter dull drones on about insignificant details as if each one is a major event. If I have to read one more time the makeup of her heiritage, I was going to throw ...more
Dec 28, 2014 Renee rated it liked it
I was really hoping that this would focus more on Dr. Jenner in the cave. Not the finding... I know the title is " The Cairo Codex" but I was expecting at least a little more build up of her time in the cave. I think I was hoping and wanting for more of a thriller, not so much the romanticism that was present.
Sep 30, 2013 Annie rated it it was ok
I received this book in a first-reads giveaway. I enjoy mysteries and thought this would be a good story. The book is split into two stories; one based in modern time and one in biblical times. Both stories were fine -- somewhat interesting and engaging. However, the layout of the book was such that time periods shifted frequently, even in the same chapter, which made it very difficult to get involved in either story. Just as one story would get moving...I'd be forced to switch back to the other ...more
Oct 11, 2013 Michelle rated it liked it
I won this book as a firstreads.

I liked this book. It did take me longer to read than normal, but I really feel like that was because I would catch myself daydreaming about Egypt. Therefore, the places were well described that it took me back there. I really appreciated Justine's struggle to fit in in Egypt and her dealings with sexism and an assault while she was running.

I enjoyed the Codex story more than Justine's. I couldn't wait to get back to codex that I would skip a few pages in excitem
Liz Freeberg
Jan 08, 2015 Liz Freeberg rated it really liked it
Shelves: novel
A very interesting 'what if?' of what might happen if everything that various religions found out the 'reality' behind some of the basic tenants of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The 'truth' is found in the form of a diary from the time Jesus and his family lived in Egypt. How would this discovery affect religion and politics around the world that have been so intertwined for so long. What would people do to bring this information to light or what lengths would they go to to hide or even dest ...more
Eve Julian
Sep 24, 2013 Eve Julian rated it it was ok
The Cairo Codex is a Dan Brown-style mystery/adventure. However, it does not have a whole lot of adventure, and the mystery isn't particularly gripping. The characters don't really grab you and it is lacking in deep emotion. It does, however, give an excellent description of modern day Egypt and its food. Essentially it is a travel guide disguised as a novel. I didn't hate it, but it didn't really grab me either. I didn't have any trouble putting it down and I probably won't read it again.
Laurie Collins
Apr 11, 2015 Laurie Collins rated it did not like it
I couldn't finish it. I couldn't get past the aforementioned stupidity.
Mar 05, 2015 Gabrielle rated it liked it
Not Dan Brown, but enough elements to keep me interested: a female archaeologist, a early Christian treasure, a mystery, contemporary political struggles. Lots of good ingredients that loosely hold together.
Aug 22, 2013 Jane rated it really liked it
I received an arc of this book from Goodreads book giveaways. This is an amazing historical novel. The author uses wonderful descriptions of the city of Cairo to submerge the reader in the locale while unwinding a story of mystery and intrigue. At the same time enlightening the reader on present day religious politcs in Egypt.
Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Oct 07, 2015 Viki rated it really liked it
Having just been to Egypt, I found this book to be fascinating because of the glimpses that it gives into the political, socialogical and historical aspects of a complex and mesmoring country.

The story was good. But it really exceled at "fleshing out" a complex society. Thank you.
Jul 12, 2013 Lainie rated it really liked it
I won this ARC through Goodreads Giveaways. This is story about a archeologist that travels to Cairo for a new job and discovers a ancient diary that could have been written by Mary the mother of Jesus. This find puts her in danger, it could change history and religion as we know it. Good story.
Catherine Miller
Sep 07, 2013 Catherine Miller rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read! I highly suggest for lovers of historical fiction, international settings, and new views on religion. Fantastic! I don't even want to start another book!
Kels Fidler
Dec 08, 2013 Kels Fidler rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, dnf
I won this book here on Goodreads in a giveaway. DNF at 26 pages--there was way too much political and religious talk for my tastes unfortunately.
Nov 17, 2013 Sandi rated it liked it
Well written with beautifully written descriptions. A bit slow paced for my tastes, but an interesting read.
Tay Smith
Tay Smith marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2016
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Linda Lambert earned her Ed.D. at the University of San Francisco and is Professor Emeritus from California State University, East Bay, and a full time author. Her new novel, The Italian Letters--the sequel to award-winning, The Cairo Codex--will be released October, 2014. Linda’s career has included the following roles: social worker, teacher, principal, district and county directors of professor ...more
More about Linda Lambert...

Other Books in the Series

The Justine Trilogy (2 books)
  • The Italian Letters: A Novel (The Justine Trilogy #2)

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