The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
By K.N. Smith
When I read the description of this story I was completely drawn in. I really liked the idea of five teens being united through some freaky tragedy that actually ends up being more of a help than a hindrance. It was like stepping into a new-age, pop culture version of Teen Titans or maybe even something more amazing because having heightened senses was a little more realistic than aliens, cyborgs, and a kid who can turn into every living animal on earth.
The story is pretty much how I described. A group of kids are mixed up in an accident that grants them powers. The kids then use these powers to become vigilantes and start pounding on the baddies in the next town over. Of course there are some dramatic events, twists and turns, and a few surprises along the way but we have a fairly decent story overall.
The five kids are good kids, each has their own personality and it sticks with them throughout the writing. Their stories overlap because of how much they are involved with one another but their individuality remains intact which is a compliment to the author. The Urban Boys may be one of the most unique stories I’ve been presented with. It has a comic book feel to it and its supported by a great storyline and a decent cast of characters.
Now, I’ve told you what I liked about the story so here comes the bad part. The Urban Boys is written really well, honestly, it is. But it’s a mix of Young Adult narration and an odd poetic work of literary fiction for adults. The prologue is excellently written, as is most of the story, but it felt like the author wasn’t sure if this would be for teens or adults. I noticed that some describe the book as being for ‘mature teens’ which to me sounds like an oxymoron or a way of excusing the mixed up style of writing. There are countless five-star reviews for this book and they’re well justified because the book is good but the style of writing just wasn’t for me. There aren’t pages’ worth of mistakes, it isn’t peppered with errors and whatnot. It’s just the style was really wordy and didn’t seem to match the story or the target audience which made it difficult to read.
The other point that cost a star was that the entire event surrounding the reason for the boys getting their powers almost seemed skimmed over. I think the author really wanted to focus on what happened after that but I was REALLY interested in the event itself so that may be me just being picky. Initially I thought the story was pretty realistic and in ways it was, but the reactions to the actions and events that played out were just dull and almost nonexistent. I don’t want to spoil anything but there’s a dramatic event that gets the parents of the teens involved and when all is revealed to them nothing really happens. It’s like this whole super power vigilante thing means nothing to them.
I like this story, I honestly do. I believe it is written well and it has an awesome storyline. But with the style of narration and a few rough patches it just wasn’t my cup of tea. The author has good talent and it shows through the creativity combined with the 70+ five-star reviews on this story. This is just my opinion.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*