Discovery of the Five Senses


Young Adult - Adventure
342 Pages
Reviewed on 04/02/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

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 and passionate advocate of literacy and arts 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. K.N. inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. Visit K.N. Smith at knsmith.com.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is a work of fiction in the action and adventure subgenres. It is aimed at young adult readers and was penned by author K. N. Smith. The book follows a group of five friends who have their senses enhanced by a mysterious power, only to then be thrust into a fight for the future of the world. As they struggle to understand their new powers, they are forced to deal with mysterious creatures whose grand plans for mankind may be too big for them to stop, their whole worldview is challenged by their new powers.

Discovery of the Five Senses was an exciting and dynamic coming of age story which expertly uses the premise of enhanced senses to underpin the traditional mechanics of such tales with the boys' perception of the world literally expanding throughout the story. The cleverness of the premise is fully utilized by K. N. Smith whose gorgeous prose and descriptive writing sees the scenes in which their senses reach out into the world to tell them something new turn into an enchanting description of the familiar through new eyes. The craftsmanship of the storytelling is excellent and not an ounce of potential goes to waste, with the villainous Druth creating a perfect threat for the protagonists as they learn to fight together. The plot is a veritable rollercoaster of adventure, the characters are wonderfully realized, the world of the story is pitch-perfect in its conception and description, and at the end of the tale, you’ll be looking at your own world with fresh eyes.

Vincent Dublado

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith is a brilliant young adult adventure that is more about character exploration; superpowers are secondary. Welcome to Danville Heights, an idyllic little town with zero crime. Still, this town has its own heroes. Kinsu, Chase, Alex, Jordan, and Rhee are the heroes of the local high school football team. Like many young people, these boys are at the peak of their curiosity. The community’s nature preserve is a forbidden zone to all the residents, but the boys decide to go on a trek through its forest after winning a championship. The boys become exposed to unknown energy that enhances their senses and physical skills. Little did they know that what they have acquired will prove useful as their peaceful little town is overtaken by an evil force that goes by the name of Druth.

Whether it’s Harry Potter or Katniss Everdeen, memorable young adult characters have earned their rightful place in the annals of revered literary figures in fiction. The five boys in this story may well achieve that. K.N. Smith gives us a vicarious experience of their adventure. Given that this story is about young men who develop super senses, Smith has made sure that the engagement in sensory details plays an important part in the reading experience. He makes powerful use of imagery to draw you in. It is the type of fiction that can engage even the most easily distracted young adult reader. I have rarely read a story that truly engages my senses, and with that being said, I highly recommend The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses for the exploration of its characters, the surrealism of its plot, and its engagement of the senses.

Pikasho Deka

Discovery of the Five Senses is the first installment of The Urban Boys book series by K.N. Smith. After traversing the forbidden preserve of Sandry Lake, high school juniors and long-term friends Jordan, Kinsu, Alex, Rhee, and Chase stumble upon something that changes their lives forever. Each of the boys receives the gift of a unique heightened sense of awareness through their five senses: smell, touch, taste, sight, and hearing. As the boys come to terms with their newfound abilities, their town is slowly laid under siege by a brigade of thugs led by a madman named Druth. Meanwhile, a mysterious Dark Stranger watches over them. But when one of them is specifically targeted by Druth and his minions, the friends must come together to embrace their destiny and prepare for a final confrontation with Druth.

If the hit TV show Riverdale had superpowered teenagers, you're probably going to end up with something like Discovery of the Five Senses. Author K.N. Smith puts a unique twist on the young adult supernatural genre, where the powers of the protagonists are an increasingly heightened awareness of their primary senses. Smith takes her time setting up the characters and the plot, but by the midway point of the story, the pace picks up significantly, and the narrative flows past with a barrage of adrenaline-pumping action sequences and reveals. The chemistry and camaraderie between the five friends was my favorite aspect of the book. If you're a fan of the young adult genre in general, don't miss out on The Urban Boys series.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

“Ambassadors for good, defenders of humanity, proud of their strengths and gifts.” Do we really need superpowers to be all that and more? A small community with a deep mystery in the woods beyond is threatened by Druth, an evil force with heightened senses of sight, sound, and touch. Should he acquire all the five senses, he could, and would, control the world, and not in a good way. Five teenagers, five different heightened sensory superpowers – when bonded together, working together as a team, they can do great things. But can they succeed in defeating the evil Druth and save mankind?

K.N. Smith’s young adult novel, Discovery of the Five Senses, is a science fiction thriller full of suspense, superpowers, and the inevitable battles between good and evil, all projected at the ultimate fate of the world. The plot is action-driven with lots of excitement and adventure. The author uses engaging dialogue, vivid descriptive narrative, and well-developed characters to set the stage for a series of battles that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Using the power of the written word as a sensory projectile of its own, the author weaves a poetic narrative that pushes forward at every turn. The author can manipulate the language in poetic metaphors, setting a scene of unearthly and magical proportions. The enduring bonds of friendship and working together shine through the underlying plot and there’s plenty of mystery to entice the young sleuth who wants to unravel what lies beneath. Powerful, breathtaking, and a real page-turner.

Rabia Tanveer

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith is the story of five friends who get super-sensory powers and a responsibility to protect mankind. The story follows Kinsu, Chase, Alex, Jordan, and Rhee, the star players of the football team of their high school. Set in a small town called Danville Heights, the five boys were high on their recent championship win when they decided to go through a forested area where something strange happened. An encounter with strange floating balls of light in the forest left the boys with super-sensory powers and a lot more. However, their powers had a purpose and that was to defeat the evil Druth and its goons that wreaked havoc in Danville Heights. Although teenagers, the boys were ready to do whatever it took to defeat Druth and his goons. However, were they strong enough to do so?

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses was a treat to read. Had I found it in my teen years, I would have gobbled the story up in a single day and begged for more parts to be released very soon. The plot was complex enough to give me Harry Potter vibes but very different and unique. The author added elements of mystery, suspense, supernatural, and pop culture elements to entice the young adult audience (or any person who would like to read it). The narrative was immersive, making readers want to know more and look for what would happen next. Kinsu, Jordan, Chase, Rhee, and Chase were all believable and relatable characters. Their progress was not rushed. Author K. N. Smith gave them time to grow into their powers, learn, and then become the heroes they were meant to be. It is a perfect novel that has everything you expect and desire from an entertaining story.

Manik Chaturmutha

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is the action-packed first novel in The Urban Boys series by K.N. Smith. The quiet and peaceful, small town of Danville Heights stands in stark contrast to the neighboring town of Sandry Lake, where evil exists and thrives. When five friends - Jordan, Alex, Kinsu, Rhee, and Chase - enter the forbidden preserve surrounding their town, they stumble upon an energy source, which gives them the power of heightened senses. They are instinctively called to Sandry Lake to root out the evil that has taken up residence there. But with great power comes great responsibility, and with the burden of responsibility and the need for secrecy, tensions rise within the friends' group. Will the ties of friendship be able to withstand this burden and win over evil?

Being the first novel in The Urban Boys series, Discovery of the Five Senses establishes the series very well by providing a solid background. The scenes were very descriptive, and the action scenes were so visual that it was almost cinematic. The story was fast-paced throughout. Even though K. N. Smith included multiple characters and subplots, she wrapped everything up really well, leaving no questions unanswered. Her writing style is very poetic, and her usage of fantastical and supernatural elements made the plot very interesting. However, the characters were too perfect for me. If Smith had crafted them with a bit of gray, it would have added to the charm. But still, it’s a fun read. I recommend this book for its fantastical elements, fast pace, and the author’s poetic writing style. The book is filled with action and adventure and is a wonderful read for young adults.

Liz Konkel

The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith is the action-packed fight of five friends as they rise to embrace their destiny and save everyone they love. Five friends go from ordinary boys to extraordinary when they receive unique abilities after a visit to an off-limits preserve that heightens their five senses. They have little time to learn how to use their new powers before fate calls them to act as the only ones that can save their town. Druth has corrupted the town of Sandy Lake and transformed it into a place of violence with the greater plan to take over the idealistic community of Danville Heights. As they battle Druth, the five friends encounter the dark stranger and mysterious beings that take part in the journey that led to the beginning of the Urban Boys.

The opening prologue sets the tone of the story and draws you into the reality of the forbidden preserve before introducing the journey of five friends as they become heroes. The two towns at the center of the story are opposites of each other which is evident in the way both are introduced. Danville Heights has idealistic descriptions such as how it beckons to the weary, has an explosion of colors that captivate, and has a combination of natural resources and quaint charm. The details create an enchanting and peaceful paradise with clean streets and comfortable homes. Then Sandy Lake contrasts as a town that fell under the control of Druth with streets full of trash, broken glass, kicked-in doors, and a gang of hooligans that roam. Sandy Lake serves an important purpose in the story, showing what happens to a community when someone like Druth enters, corrupting it into a place of fear and violence. These details highlight a terrifying potential reality that Danville Heights faces and that K.N. Smith uses as a commentary on violence in our communities.

Multiple threads are woven into the story, creating a complex and layered plot with one end focusing on Druth and his diabolic plan and the five boys as they work together to protect their home. Otherworldly magic is blended into the plot through beings that originated from a place called Naculea and are described as promoters of peace that chose to live in the tranquil environment of the forest. Their presence adds to the superhero tone of the story and represents the striving for peace the boys are fighting for in their community. The story of five friends weaves a terrifying reality as K.N. Smith creates a real image of violence and fear in a community through Discovery of the Five Senses.

Rolanda Lyles

Chase, Kinsu, Jordan, Alex, and Rhee are the best of friends. They spend their days playing together in their neighborhoods, on the football team, and at school. One day, they take a detour through the forbidden preserve and hear strange clicking sounds and see floating lights that change their lives forever. After their encounter, sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts and each friend receives one heightened sense. As the boys discover the extent of their powers, they are also being hunted for them by the elusive Druth and his goons. In order the save their town, the boys engage in furious battles in a race to save mankind. Their only chance is for the group to stick together. With light beings, mysterious strangers, and the ever-attacking Druth and his minions, will the boys be able to come together to defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late?

K.N. Smith's Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is an action-packed young adult superhero story full of suspense and emotional twists and turns. Her writing vividly portrays the characters, scenes, and amazing fighting scenes. Smith's writing is a bit poetic and draws you in from the moment you start reading. The story has an underlying theme of brotherhood, community, and the never-ending battle between good and evil, not just in an opponent, but sometimes in ourselves. A fantastically written action-adventure story for adults and young readers alike, K.N. Smith's Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses is a must-read!

Diana Lopez

Without our five senses, we would not perceive the world as we do, but what would happen if any of our senses developed in an unforeseen way? It would certainly be a sign that we have entered an extraordinary world. Five friends unexpectedly acquire heightened senses, obtaining a unique and special gift. Together they must use these abilities, not only to protect their loved ones but also the world. Confronted with a great threat, will they be able to face it? Discovery of the Five Senses is a story filled with action, emotional conflicts, and many mysteries to solve. K.N. Smith presents us with the beginning of a great adventure with a touch of fantasy.

Discovery of the Five Senses narrates a hazardous undertaking. An aspect that I liked about this book is that it has a wide variety of characters, each with a distinctive personality. In addition, K.N. Smith introduces us to the main characters in stages. Thanks to this, we can get to know them better and it gives us a clearer idea of their behavior and the emotions that motivate them. I also liked the rich setting. The plot unfolds in several places, the descriptions are clear, but they leave enough to the imagination so that we can visualize the magic that is always present. This is an adventure story, but it also talks about personal relationships, and how conflicted life can be due to emotional impulses when they are not on the right track.

Amy Powers

Discovery of the Five Senses is the first book of the Urban Boys series by K.N. Smith that introduces us to a group of five boys who have been blessed with powers of the different senses. It's been twenty years since violence has reared its ugly head in town, and an evil-doer named Druth is the one behind it all. In celebration of a football game, five high school boys venture into an area they have been warned against, and it is then that they are chosen by receiving the powers of heightened senses. As Druth's henchmen begin invading their town, the five boys also discover their abilities to fight off the criminals to protect their home. It is only a matter of time until they learn more about their new powers, Druth's history, and the mysterious Dark Stranger who seems to be watching their every move.

With an extensive cast of characters and regular shifts in perspective that enable us to witness multiple viewpoints spanning generations, Discovery of the Five Senses weaves a complex tale full of suspenseful moments as the puzzle is put together. K.N. Smith has created a unique and diverse group of young men who are juggling their own problems as they deal with discovering their new abilities. With new and unexpected responsibilities, it is easy to relate to these characters in this adventurous, coming-of-age science fiction story. Despite its complexity, the story is easy to read and hard to put down. Though there is a satisfying conclusion, it is easy to imagine that the boys will have many more adventures with their new powers.