Monday, February 14, 2022

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses Book Review & Book Tour Giveaway

This morning,  I have a young adult fantasy novel in our book review spotlight!  Check out The Urban Boys, learn about author K.N. Smith, read my thoughts on the book and be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

Book TitleDiscovery of the Five Senses Book One - The Urban Boys Series by K. N. Smith
CategoryYA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 340 pages
Genre:  Young Adult Action-Adventure, Young Adult Thriller, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/ Thriller
PublisherTwo Petals Publishing (self-published)
Release date:   September 15, 2021
Content Rating:  PG  

"Brilliantly crafted and written!" - Megan King, Indie Book Reviewers

"An energetic adventure debut with stellar action sequences. Smith's writing is intelligent and often lyrical. Her exuberant prose never fails to dazzle." - Kirkus Media

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About the Book

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 super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys be able to 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.  
My Review

Discovery of the Five Senses Introduces Readers to The Urban Boys Series. The author puts a great deal of time into introducing readers to her characters and their settings. I probably would have liked more details on their unexpected superpowers. Still, I gained a pretty in-depth understanding of each boy's family dynamics and the cities involved in the plot. While this first novel gives readers a complete story--there is a hint that a future book will follow too. 


The Writing Style May Require Some Patience and Attention for Readers.  It took me a bit to settle into the author's writing style and sort the characters in my mind. Early on, I had a hard time distinguishing the point of view at times, and it took a while for me to assign the characters individual voices. There is also a shifting of writing styles between one feeling more classical adult and a less complex one typical of teen fantasy. Adapting to the writing style took a little time and attention to avoid confusion or the need to re-read a passage. Once I settled into the style, I enjoyed it as an adult reader, but I am not sure that some teen readers would feel the same about the writing flow.


Would I Recommend Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith.  I enjoyed the book and plot of this series opener. I think it is written to allow adult readers to enjoy the story. The novel is a little too neat and a bit unrealistic at times--but that is often the case with a young adult fantasy. I felt that I liked some of the "bad" characters as much as the good at times! In the end, it is a fun adventure for young adult readers who enjoy superhero powers and fantasy novels, and I look forward to seeing the characters continue to grow in the next novel 


Read an Excerpt

As one would imagine, a mysterious forest might offer deep, eerie chills, especially at night. Instead, the forest cast a rich glow, and the environment was beautiful and serene.

Walking slowly with their eyes absolutely feasting on the horticultural delights, the boys were approached by something they weren’t sure was real. It floated effortlessly, lighting up in a sporadic pattern, but had neither sound nor discernible shape, other than being somewhat clear and round.

Its fluttering wings suspended it in the center of their disbelieving huddle. All eyes were on it, but what it was provoked more mystery than the forest itself. It bounced in a cheery, beckoning fashion, flashing its stunning wings, drawing the boys into a never-ending waltz. They were transfixed, unable to glance at each other, prevented by the daze each silently battled.

The little glowing being carried about, moving closer to their faces. It moved in and out of trees, spewing, sparkle and splendor, then floated away from the boys, yet stayed close enough to continue the enticement.

Contributing to the amazing glow ricocheting from sprawling fronds to soaring trees and fallen leaves, the being’s creativity advanced in a display of twirls and spins, astonishing the boys. And they followed their little friend further and further into the forest.

Deeper ahead, the visual spectacle beautifully intertwined with the clicking noise, which grew louder and more defined, moving up the scale into high notes. The repetition of the noise mesmerized the boys, equating to an invisible lasso.

The friends grouped together, looking ahead and behind. Their stomachs tightened as the tension grew.

What they saw next would pale in comparison to their little, wondrous friend, who steadily bounced around several curvy pathways.

The small creature led them into an area deep within the preserve housing two large, floating, clicking balls of light. The boys instinctively covered their eyes, yet still tried to peep through their fingers.

The light balls began spinning wildly and grew louder, with their tops spitting out free-falling shavings of light like fireworks.

The sputtering light bounced off the dirt only to end up against a tree or one of the boys, then back down and up again.

Slowing down, the beings moved in between the boys. Too scared to move and struggling with reality, the boys’ eyes locked onto the radiant balls.

And with a striking force, the five friends were encased by a bright, piercing light as the balls exploded, emitting their energy onto the boys.

Mixing and mashing north, south, east, and west, bright waves covered the soil, spreading across trees, rock, and all plant life. The forest fell silent, frozen like an inhale without an exhale. It was dark and quiet, except for the liquid energy dripping from the huge, wavy leaves.

Being subjected to drifts both in and out of reality, the boys succumbed to the lure of a vacant black space within the deepest parts of their minds. They fell to the ground unconscious, laying in this forbidden domain in the center of a place they had been warned not to approach.

And from some distance toward the other side of the preserve, a draped shadow had been looking inward and saw this mysterious incident.

The curve of his black hood was loose enough for him to witness the unthinkable. But it also shrouded his expression, which was impassive.

This figure, a dark stranger, had been watching the boys for a period of time and saw the explosion of light. He knew it had exposed them to a grave risk in this place of both awe and fear. He realized time would now take the reins as a master guide for these stricken young men, all of whom would need hope as a rod and stamina as a spear on the long journey ahead.

Knowing the veil of normalcy would need to be maintained in order for this inconceivable episode to be minimized, the Dark Stranger drew upon his strength to physically move each of the boys to Rhee’s house.

He knew familiar surroundings would ease them as they roused, barely able to comprehend their predicament.

For he knew much, and every step, every footprint left an indelible impression on the path leading to the studio in Rhee’s backyard. Indeed, footprints providing a window to the past meshed with hope for the future.

And like a laser, the Dark Stranger steadied his gait, hurling each one up and over his powerful shoulders.

As he absorbed the totality of the scene, he breathed deeply. His head hung in a manner to which only trauma could relate. But in a sign of resilience, it swiftly sprung back.

Under the circumstances, he knew time would not be patient nor friendly.

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate had arrived. 
Buy the Book

Meet the Author

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author, screenwriter, and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. She inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. She lives in California with her family. 

connect with the author:  website ~ facebook ~ goodreads
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  1. Thank you, Angela, for reading my novel. I'm glad you enjoyed the adventure. Much appreciated! K.N. Smith

  2. Thank you for sharing, the book sounds great

  3. A modern inspirational tale about achieving your best possible self and working to help others. Which hero will be your favorite?