Book Review: Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos


Title: Autumn in Carthage
Author: Christopher Zenos

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: eBook (332 pages)

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

The nether side of passion is madness. 

Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692- the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.

The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice.In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie’s disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it all.

Moving from the grimness of Chicago’s South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions- and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.


This is a book that I got for free off of Amazon and I’m not really sure what made me get it other than the free part. I don’t normally read science fiction and when I say don’t normally I mean never. Whatever it was that made me choose this book, I am so glad I did. Nathan is a very relatable character for anyone who has a mental disorder or has suffered from depression. Though the author never names what mental disorder Nathan actually has, I think this added to his character. The way he goes looking for his best friend, Jamie, after he goes missing says a lot about the kind of person he is and what that friendship meant to him. He takes a sabbatical from the university and goes to Wisconsin to a tiny town where the locals are mysterious.

Alanna is one of the locals he meets and I just picture her as being this gorgeous elegant woman. I wanted a romance to ensue between Nathan and Alanna from the moment she was introduced and I got just that. I love that the author did parts of the story from her viewpoint.

A major problem I had with this story is the Salem witch trials. From reading the blurb about the book, you would think that the witch trials plays a significant role in the story. This is not the case until closer to the end of the book and even then it’s not a huge part.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I think I may pick up a few more science fiction books to give a try.

Rating: 4.5 stars