Advance reader reviews of City of the Sun by Juliana Maio.

City of the Sun

By Juliana Maio

City of the Sun
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2014,
    380 pages.

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There are currently 19 member reviews
for City of the Sun
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  • Judith S. (Binghamton, NY)


    A lovely read
    Juliana Maio book is an excellent blend of history and romance. It is light. On the other hand it is a reminder of the ravages of war on both individuals and countries. Certainly Egypt is no longer Paris of the Nile. The love story is a blend of fast paced suspense, sophisticated humor of its time and romance. Quite enjoyable. Ms. Maio obviously loves her country. I would read more of her work.
  • Duane F. (Cape Girardeau, MO)


    City of the Sun
    I am ashamed to say it took me 3 months to finish this book. It had great promise... WWII, spies, Jewish refuges, love, Egypt and a promise of insight into the current Middle Easter crisis. It just never lived up to its promises. It's biggest fault was it seemed the dialog and character descriptions were geared to a younger audience. The plot had incredible potential, but was not complicated or realistic enough for me. The love story seemed stunted an then suddenly very explicit as though the author thought that perhaps she should throw it in to hold our interest. By the time it was presented, I had lost interest in the characters. The whole story line could have been much more developed. I felt as though the author was afraid to give her readers a real taste of what went in at that time period, location and political environment. Perhaps that she felt we could not handle real fact and it was presented like a fairy tale for middle schoolers. The author has potential... But needs to take into account, "The reason we read fiction based on fact is we wish fact with our fiction."
  • BJ (Mukwonago, WI)


    A New Perspective
    I found City of the Sun an enjoyable read especially since historical fiction is not a genre I would typically choose. The story as a mystery intrigued me more than anything to begin with, but as I continued through the book I realized I was being drawn in--I wanted to know more about WWII along with the multiple geographic locations and cultures it affected. Believable fiction and a good first novel, this is definitely one that could be adapted into a film.
  • Marcy C. (Minneapolis, MN)


    City of the Sun
    This was an enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone who appreciates historical fiction. I have read numerous works of fiction that use WW II as the setting but I have never read one that took place in Northern Africa.
  • Zonetta G. (Winter Springs, FL)


    City of the Sun
    The author introduces the reader to a segment of WWII that was unfamiliar to me. She is obviously extremely knowledgeable and passionate about Egypt and its peoples and the conflicting ideologies of the various factions, and the Jews of Egypt. While her basic premise and plot were intriguing, I found the development of her main characters a little weak--as if written for a younger audience. I was not as invested in the main couple as I would liked to have to been. Their relationship was a little forced unbelievable. The last quarter of the book was much more exciting, even though a little confusing with all the various characters. The book does, however, inspire an interest to learn more about the North African Theater of WWII.
  • Harriette K. (Weston, FL)


    City of the Sun
    A family consisting of father, brother Erik and sister Maya flee Nazi Germany and find themselves in Cairo as the war is being fought in North Africa. It is 1942 and the war is very close to Egypt. Erik is a scientist with knowledge of the development of atomic weaponry. They are taken in by a Jewish family that has deep roots in Egypt. At the same time, a Nazi spy is looking for the scientist so that the Nazis can use his knowledge and an American journalist who wants to rescue the scientist and send him to the U.S. so that he can help them work on the atomic bomb. Nobody knows the true role of anyone else in this plot, and, if that isn't enough, a romance is thrown into the mix for good measure. This is a very well paced tale and although the reader knows everything, it makes for a very good, fast read. We also get a glimpse into the life of Jews in Egypt at this time. The chronology might not be exact, but that's okay, too. I certainly recommend it as a nice, fast paced thriller.
  • Tilli F. (Florence, MA)


    A good read
    I was at first put off by the colloquial style of the author but then got into the story. It is interesting because of the setting. Egypt during the second world war is something I knew nothing about, and the mixture of Egyptians, Arabs, English and Americans, and the power struggles between and among these groups is at once confusing but intriguing. And, of course the Jews trying again to escape. Parts of the story are emotionally riveting, but for the most part the author does not seem to feel the tensions of the environment she has created. All in all, a good read, not a great one.
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