- Genre: YA Urban Fantasy/Thriller
- Length: 292 Pages
- Publishing: 29th September 2015
- Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0989474755/
- Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26850355-the-urban-boys
Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.
“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer
A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory superpowers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, can the boys defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.
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What’s it about (in a nutshell):
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith is a paranormal superhero story for the younger YA or Middle Grades reader.
Actual Reading Experience:
I got strong Batman vibes throughout this book, and I liked that. From the Dark Stranger who wore a cape to the almost dystopian town on Sandry Lake – it all felt like Batman might appear at any moment. I think the younger reader will definitely connect with that, if even on a subconscious level.
I love the diversity of the characters culturally and through family makeup. One boy lives with his sister, while another lost his mother and lives only with his father. A wide range of families are portrayed in the story, which gives each reader something to connect to.
Lastly, I enjoyed the twists and turns. I love shocking twists in a story, and this one had some jaw-dropping revelations, which I absolutely adored.
Five friends, each with a unique superpower based on one of the five senses:
Chase – touch
Alex – taste
Rhee – smell
Kinsu – sight
Jordan – hearing
And all of them had enhanced fighting skills as well as their particular sensory power, which they will need to fight Druth, the big bad in the story.
My favorite character, though, was Alina Alcaraz Olivas, who didn’t appear until late in the story. I always enjoy a female character who is physically and mentally strong and capable of taking on male adversaries. I would have loved to see more of her.
Narration & Pacing:
The narration is in the third person, which is how it had to be, considering how many main characters there are. I’ve read books that portray many first-person narrators, and sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t, but considering the target age of the audience, the third-person narration style was indeed the only option.
The pacing is good – quick from start to finish, with no significant slowdowns at any point in the story. There are plenty of action scenes to keep the pace going. Also, a great hook in the opening prologue gives the reader the feeling of direness right from the beginning.
The setting is primarily in Danville Heights, an idyllic small town. Also juxtaposed with it is the neighboring town of Sandry Lake. Sandry Lake is anything but ideal and reminds me of Gotham City in a small-town framework. I found the dichotomy of the towns added to the story in many ways, most notably as an example of what the boys are fighting to preserve.
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is a diverse exploration of what it would be like to have superpowers and decide what to do with them.
K.N. Smith is an award-winning author. She is a passionate advocate of arts and literacy programs throughout the world. Her lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist and grind through action-adventure and urban fantasy in edge-of-your-seat narratives. K.N. has over twenty-five years’ experience in communications and creative design as an award-winning consultant. Reading is still her foremost hobby. She is also the founder of Mental Health California™, and creator and director of Brother Be Well, her signature nonprofit community initiative. Discovery of the Five Senses was awarded “Best of” in the category “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards at the 10th Annual Leimert Park Village Book Fair. The event, voted one of LA’s best annual book festivals, attracts over 200 authors, poets, spoken word artists, storytellers, performers, and literary/ educational exhibitor participants, and boasts an audience of over 5,000. She is also a Readers’ Favorite “Gold Medal” honoree for “Young Adult – Mystery”.