“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero.” –Brad Boney

Author K.N. Smith’s ‘The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses’ is a novel that explores the age old fight between good and evil in a modern, urban setting. Two distinct societies exist within the story, one a fairytale-ish little town filled with honest and hardworking individuals while the neighboring town is a dark dystopian world where petty crime and crime-lords reign supreme. A forest preserve situated between these two worlds contains a mysterious energy source, one which alters and heightens people’s senses. When a group of people from these two strikingly different worlds come into contact with this energy source, an epic melee between good & evil ensues.

K.N. Smith has at her disposal a lyrical prose that describes the environment and the characters in such fine (and magical) detail that you can’t help but fall in love with the world she has created. All the characters get introduced into the narrative early on and only then does the plot arc really kick in. Their introduction has a cinematic feel to it and you end up making a personal connect with each of the protagonists.

The five teenage heroes have an equal role to play in the proceedings and their superpowers and fighting skills are evenly matched. But it’s their unique backstories that’s going to help readers choose their favorite hero from the group. This is a good fix for a book that’s primarily aimed at younger audiences. Jordan, Rhee, Kinsu, Chase and Alex are more or less well developed characters, but it’s the fine dialogues they mouth that helps in showing-off their deep set friendship and brotherly love for each other.

All said and done, ‘The Urban Boys’ offers plenty of life lessons that are arranged in a subtle manner throughout the narrative. Importance of family ties, friendship, honesty, and staying true to yourself are all touched upon in this adventure story. The book is much more than about teenage boys with super powers fighting ruffians and thugs, it persuades each person to do good so that evil can be kept away from the collective.

‘Discovery of the Five Senses’ is a great start to this new series and the premise holds much promise for more entertaining episodes.

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