Published: September 2015
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-adventure story about five teen boys who are mysteriously exposed to a foreign energy source that gives them extremely heightened senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become hypersensitive gifts that forever change the world. The story offers young and mature readers central themes of loyalty, responsibility, honesty, fear, and triumph, which become artfully integrated with cinematic-level action and high drama. The story twists, turns, and grinds through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in a diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narrative.
In the carefully crafted universe of Danville Heights, the lives of five teenage boys change dramatically after their mysterious encounter with an unknown source of supernatural powers. Before they know it, they become instinctively called to the neighboring town of Sandry Lake to root out evil every night.
Although this is fiction, and some elements of the story were probably created because of the mere fact that fiction is honestly one of the very few (and legal) escapes from the real world and it's boundaries, I just can't help it but wonder what does 'super-taste' or 'super-smell' have anything to do with kung-fu fighting. What can you do with it, lick your enemies to death?(even that could have actually been interesting.) The characters hardly use any of their 'newly discovered' senses when fighting Druth (their arch-nemesis )and his comrades in Sandry Lake.
Another element which is very strong in the book is lyrical writing. One chapter into the book and you're already introduced to a dozen of characters (literally twelve), the colors of their hair, heights, ages, places of residence and physique but, no story.
Although this might be a bit overwhelming or too descriptive for some readers' liking, I personally found it very impressive . It creates a complete and sensible picture of the entire world where the story takes place. You don't have to remember every little detail anyway, this is only meant to draw a full comprehendible picture in your mind. You'll still understand the story just fine with the info you'll be able to recall (it's a young-adult novel, after all, not a nuclear physics textbook), which is much better than having your own, inaccurate, version of the story.
When all is said and done, the novel is much more a literary success than it is a thrilling, action packed and mysterious read for the young-adult audience. Such literary richness and use of literary devices is something which is truly rare and profound in the young adult genre lately (or even genre fiction as a whole).
The unique manner in which KN Smith was able to execute her story is much notable and impressive than another poorly crafted ; Twilight, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter mimic. There are three elements that I found in the story which proved to me that this isn't just another product of the stereotypical young-adult genre : 1. The characters are fighting crime in the neighboring town not evil spirits which are trying to takeover the world, 2. people live in towns, not factions and lastly 3. the government is not trying to kill them.
The Urban Boys:Discovery of the Five Senses is a great read, especially for the lyrical and descriptive writing tolerant reader. Even if you don't like the story, it's the kind of story that you'll never forget.
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