Friday, March 25, 2016

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith : A Review

BOOK TITLE: The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses


ISBN/ASIN: 978-0989474757

GENRE: Fiction / Thriller


FORMAT: Digital / ePub

SERIES / STANDALONE: The Urban Boys (Book 1)

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: I thank Laura Fabiani of iRead book tours for this review copy.


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 chronicles their effortless interrelations and later exposes the testing of their deep bonds. It introduces the reader to an array of supporting characters who alter the boys’ lives forever. The Urban Boys 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!


The story’s small town of Danville Heights, a carefully crafted universe, contrasts with the dark, gloomy town of Sandry Lake, where evil abounds. Upon the boys’ mysterious incident with the energy source, they’re instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out evil. Their senses guide them each time. However, secrecy about their mission, furious battles with evil thugs, extreme fatigue, and stress and pressure soon overwhelm the boys, but they must find a way to embrace their fate. A lurking, Dark Stranger seems to know their plight, and a strikingly beautiful, fearless girl lends way to heightened confusion. Shocking details about these two characters, and the evil antagonist, the dreaded Druth, twist and grind the story even further. Despite tension and fierce battles, will the boys hold it together long enough to fulfill their destiny? Intriguing, intelligent, and full of action, The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses offers a memorable, emotion-packed, thrilling ride for young and mature readers alike!


A coming of age story. Five teenage boys exposed to something mysterious and they receive super powers (heightened senses) and they are called to fight eveil using those. While maintaining a facade of normalcy in their day lives. It had been long since I had read anything properly classified as YA, and this short summary seemed just like the thing that would interest me. The cover was dark, and suited the sombre mood of the summary.


Whenever I take up a YA book to read, there is this mild expectation in me. The right book of this genre should walk a very narrow path to be just right. There is always the thin edge. If the book is full of childish stories / narration, it becomes a children's story. On the other hand, if it deals with a subject alien to teens, it isn't suited to be filed under YA. Very few books actually make a successful impression based on the genre. While I am going to write my review objectively, based on the book's story, its adherence to the summary, my comments are directed towards the style of narration too. Usually, a book's content value is graded based on what it says it must be versus what it actually is. A subtle shift appears and either hooks the reader or ruins the moment.

Now for the review.

Five teenage boys have a perfectly normal life in a perfectly good town. They are exposed to a mysterious energy source and gain heightened senses as a superpower. The catch? They have to (get to?) fight evil in a dark, frightening place called Sandry Lake. This sounds like a typical YA fodder and it is amazing how detailed the book actually is. Starting from the moment the boys lead normal lives to getting exposed to the powers and finally fighting evil, the descriptions have been very generous. Some parts of the book including the actual crux of the plot might sound stereotypical, but then how the author further develops the whole story decides whether or not the book is enjoyable. I enjoyed the book in parts.

There were portions of the book where I loved the descriptive flowing prose that actually managed to take me into the quiet Danville Heights and Sandry Lake. But then there were moments when I needed the story to just get on, without knowing about people's hair color and other details. It was easy to lose track of the actual story and get distracted by the how instead of the what. This book has some amazing narration - it just would not quite hold the attention of modern day readers, or those who aren't used to reading many words to actually get a feel of how things are.

These little negatives aside, the story by itself is good enough for me, having held my attention with a clear cut narration and well defined characters. (Considering the fact that I love detailed descriptive books - and forgot that this book is actually YA and from the 21st century). Ideal parents who don't flip a hair when they learn that their kids are on dangerous missions, exciting night time adventures for teens to get into, the age old but never boring good vs evil story line - this book is a treat for people who like their books to be detailed and written in lilting prose. If you are able to hold your attention to it, this book has a great story you wouldn't want to miss. You get what you expect.

  • It has been so long since I read a complete, clear, black and white, Good Vs Evil book instead of one with grey shades. This book is one such and that held my interest.
  • The very vivid description worked for me sometimes. I liked having little left to imagination in certain parts
  • The story and the overall concept was very YA based, amidst books that claim to be so and veer off genre. And it followed the summary well too.
  • The poetic prose, though nice to read, is not suitable for a book that is supposed to be a thriller and that makes me doubt if the target audience of this book, teens, would have the patience to read through it all.
  • I am waiting for the next book to explain, in detail, how the heightened discovery of five senses was
  • The parents are every teen's dream. A bit unrealisticly created though.


A book that took me back a few years - based on both the genre and writing!

RATING: 4.0/5


"The Urban Boys - an energetic YA adventure debut with stellar action sequences. Smith's writing is intelligent and often lyrical. Her exuberant prose never fails to dazzle." - Kirkus Reviews

K.N. Smith is an American author and passionate advocate of childhood and family literacy programs throughout the world. She continues to inspire students of all ages to reach their highest potential in their literacy and educational pursuits. Her creative, lyrical flair sweeps across pages that twist, turn, and grind through elements of paranormal and action-adventure in diverse, exciting, edge-of-your-seat narratives. A gardening enthusiast, she lives with her family in California and is currently working on her next book.


PRICE $3.98 for Kindle, $11.54 for Paperback



  1. Hi! Thank you so much for the excellent review! I appreciate you being a stop on this tour. Best, K.N. Smith


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