by Emily Roberson
Release Date: October 22nd 2019
Genres: YA, Mythology
Format Read: ARC
Sixteen-year-old Ariadne’s whole life is curated and shared with the world. Her royal family’s entertainment empire is beloved by the tabloids, all over social media, and the hottest thing on television. The biggest moneymaker? The Labyrinth Contest, a TV extravaganza in which Ariadne leads fourteen teens into a maze to kill a monster. To win means endless glory; to lose means death. In ten seasons, no one has ever won.
When the gorgeous, mysterious Theseus arrives at the competition and asks Ariadne to help him to victory, she doesn’t expect to fall for him. He might be acting interested in her just to boost ratings. Their chemistry is undeniable, though, and she can help him survive. If he wins, the contest would end for good. But if she helps him, she doesn’t just endanger her family’s empire―the monster would have to die. And for Ariadne, his life might be the only one worth saving.
Ariadne’s every move is watched by the public and predestined by the gods, so how can she find a way to forge her own destiny and save the people she loves?
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This was one of my most anticipated reads of the year and I literally squealed when I got my hands on it. I am a HUGE fan of Greek Mythology and the story of Ariadne and the Minotaur has always fascinated me. The myth alone is wild y’all we’ve got:
- A woman in love with a bull whose “union” (hello only euphemism that doesn’t make me want to outright gag) produces the Minotaur, a terrifying half-bull, half-human creature with an insatiable blood lust
- A complicated maze designed by the basically imprisoned architect Daedalus (yes, Icarus and the wings, that Daedalus)
- Fourteen Athenian teens sent to their deaths every year bc why not
- A whole lot of other crazy
In Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters, Emily Roberson makes it even wilder by setting the whole thing in modern times and making it into a reality tv show called The Labyrinth Contest. Originally started as a means of revenge against the Athenians for the murder of King Minos and Queen Pasiphae’s eldest son Androgeous, the Labyrinth Contest is now must-see tv. The contestants battle it out and some even specifically move to Athens to try to qualify for the show because they are convinced they’re gonna be the one to finally take down the Minotaur. We’ve got Amazons and Heroes, lining up to prove they are the best of the best. When Theseus, son of the King of Athens volunteers for the latest season they have a ratings hit on their hands – especially when he falls in love with Minos’s youngest daughter and Keeper of the Maze Ariadne.
Ariadne hates the cameras. She hates the outfits and the outlandish things her sisters and parents do to stay in the spotlight. All she wants is to play video games, lead the contestants to the maze to be slaughtered and never think about them again. I was so moved by Ariadne as a character because she cares so deeply for her brother the Minotaur, but is so blind to the world around her, especially the rest of her family. Her journey to the darker side of the business was really eye-opening for her and for me as a person who watches the trainwreck that is reality tv. She has always been protected and praised for being obedient to the will of the gods, but when she falls in love with Theseus she can’t afford to stay detached from the contest anymore. Also watching her try to find an outfit the stylists/her sisters/her mother deem hot enough for tv while trying not to show all the goods was #relatable.
I’m not a fan of insta-love plotlines but the rest of the book made up for it with action and adventure, while pulling on your heart strings. I want to wipe my mind clean and read it again immediately just so I get to experience it all over again!
Hi y’all, i’m Rachel! When i’m not reading or talking about books I can be found rewatching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the 72nd time, working on my own novel, cheering on JMU football (Go Dukes!) and taking advantage of all the great museums and breweries Richmond has to offer.
Check out my instagram highlights and Goodreads page for more reviews of all the books i’ve read this year!