LIFESTYLES OF GODS AND MONSTERS BY EMILY ROBERSON - BOOK REVIEW

So requested this book because the synopsis gave me major Hunger Games meets Greek mythology on a reality television show vibes - which I was HYPED about - and that's pretty much what I got!

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters by Emily Roberson! Thanks so much to Raincoast Books for providing me with an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always, all opinions are my own!



This story follows Ariadne, the daughter of Cretan reality TV moguls. After the Athenian murder of her older brother, her father organized The Labyrinth Contest, a televised event where fourteen of the best and bravest warriors from Athens come to try and defeat the deadly Minotaur. As Keeper of the Maze, Ariadne is forced to be a part of the slaughter and keep a big secret about who the Minotaur really is. This year, Thesus, the recently recognized son of the King of Athens shows up to fight the Minotaur. While Ariadne's father is not impressed, he realizes this development - and Thesus's immediate connection with Ariadne - is great for ratings. Torn between helping the boy she has just met but really likes and betraying the family who has forced her to do the dirty work for a decade, Ariadne has to decide how to end The Labyrinth Contest once and for all.

Immediately I was drawn in by the Greek mythology component of this book. The author takes some creative liberties, obviously, but I loved hearing about different myths than are usually adapted into new stories. Roberson also did a really great job of having the characters themselves embody the myths they were a part of. For example, one of Ariadne's best friend's is Icarus - you know, got magical golden wings and flew too close to the sun? Well, he's in charge of the plotlines for the show and there are a number of times where he got so caught up in the moment he couldn't quite see reality which I thought made a lot of sense for his character. Just little things like that that show the author is really working with the myths beyond just retelling them.

I also really loved the relationship between Thesus and Ariadne. I could see how some readers might find it a little insta-lovey but, as I said in a previous review, I'm kinda living for the swept up, love at first sight romances lately so I didn't mind. And truthfully, Ariadne was already half-way out of the competition/TV show before Thesus came around, he just helped give her an out.

In terms of structure, I enjoyed the reality TV component more than I thought I would, it's not usually something I gravitate towards but Roberson did a good job of framing the story. We got glimpses behind the scenes of some of the less glamourous components of reality TV and, especially with Ariadne's sisters, got the sense that even though they were a part of it, they more or less had to grin and bear it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this one, I thought it was a fun twist on classic Greek mythology and would love to see a spinoff of this book or a companion novel or something set in the same world!