New Books Network

Emily Roberson

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in FantasyNew Books in LiteratureNew Books Network October 23, 2019 Gabrielle Mathieu

Welcome to New Books in Fantasy and Adventure, a podcast channel on the New Books Network. Today we’ll be talking with Emily Roberson about...

Welcome to New Books in Fantasy and Adventure, a podcast channel on the New Books Network. Today we’ll be talking with Emily Roberson about her debut YA novel, Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019), a mythological retelling.

In this modern version of the myth of Theseus and Ariadne, Ariadne is a complacent Daddy‘s girl when we meet her. As her father’s favorite, she’s spared the humiliation her sisters accede to when they star in their own reality TV show, the Paradoxes. Sure, Daddy might have a martini-stocked bar in each room of his fabulous palace, as well as a sacrificial altar for augury in case the mood to sacrifice a dove seizes him. But when your mother is infamous for coupling with a bull, while hidden in wooden cow statue, Father looks like the better bet, even if he does have an agenda for everyone.

Ariadne is also the Keeper of the Labyrinth, which means that every year she leads the chosen Athenians into the Labyrinth for their televised demise. Each year, the fourteen Athenians come to Crete to be feted, each one sure that he or she will be the one to defeat the Minotaur, and each year the slaughter is televised to diminishing audience interest. That all changes the year Theseus, the illegitimate son of the King of Athens, arrives in Crete intent on preventing further deaths. Ariadne finds herself attracted to Theseus, a serious and authentic young man, who happens to eb gorgeous as well. However, their developing romance soon becomes more fodder for the reality show her family stars in, and Ariadne must face some hard truths about her life.

Emily has been a bookseller in Little Rock, a newspaper reporter in Vicksburg, a marketing manager in Boston, and a writer in Chapel Hill and Dallas. She graduated from Brown University and has a master’s degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband, three sons and no pets. You can find her on the web at on instagram @robersonemilym and on twitter @RobersonEmily.


Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the historical fantasy Falcon series and the upcoming epic fantasy, Girl of Fire.  You can follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor, or visit her website at gabriellemathieu.com.