Note: This post is sponsored by Masquerade Tours in exchange for an honest review.
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!
This book isn’t my usual fare, but the description sounded pretty cool, so I thought I’d give it a try. As it turns out, there were some things I really enjoyed and some things I didn’t, so I’m going to present this review as a list of pros and cons.
- The dialogue is very good. I really enjoyed listening to the teenagers talk to each other. Smith did a great job of capturing the voice of a teenager throughout the book. I just wish there was even more dialogue!
- The plot is an interesting one. Sure, we’ve all seen the “teenager gets superpowers” trope before, but this feels fresh and new. First of all, we have a group of friends who all get superpowers, rather than a lone teenager, and second, some of the superpowers are just bizarre. It was interesting (and sometimes hilarious) to see what supertaste or superfeeling would be like as a superpower.
- I kind of wanted the book to be about Mason, the little brother of one of the teenage boys. In fact, almost all of the supporting characters are given their own backstory and personality, which I really appreciated.
- The writing style is contrived. There is just no way around this. It was my biggest obstacle to reading an otherwise interesting plot with fun characters. Though the dialogue is pretty spot-on in terms of the way teenagers actually speak, the rest of the writing doesn’t sound like something a teenager would ever say or think. Unfortunately, it just sounds like it’s trying too hard to be fancy.
- I really wish there had been some female characters. The very few that were involved in the story hardly got any lines or actions, and I think the story would have benefited from their presence.
So there you have it! The pros and cons for The Urban Boys. Check it out if you’re interested in teens with superpowers and how their friendships might change as a result of their newfound powers.