Review of YA urban fantasy thriller Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith
A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. 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?
Excerpt from Discovery of the Five Senses
And in the absence of even a hint of an exchange, Joaquin spun around and lunged at Ross. He grabbed him by the throat, knocking him down.
With brittle leaves and debris thrust upward, the two were enveloped in a dark, hazy hell as they engaged in a violent struggle for what seemed like an eternity.
Ross flared up. “Get the hell off of me!”
Joaquin persisted. “What are you going to do, Ross? Where are you going to go?”
Ross scrambled to his feet, fighting back with a blow to Joaquin’s head, followed by several body punches. Joaquin stumbled and fell, giving Ross those precious few seconds required for his escape.
Fueled by a rush of pulsating adrenaline, Ross ran frantically, stretching his quivering legs. His rich brown skin tightened as he pounded through the forest. He tried to ignore his thunderous heartbeat while scanning the pathways, searching for possible escape routes.
With his baseball cap lost to the wind, his short, curly hair had exposed to the open air. Ross grasped the moment, one littered with deep panic and a singular appreciation for survival.
This turn of events stemmed from countless episodes in which Joaquin, only nineteen yet extremely demanding, had tried to control those around him.
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My Review of Discovery of the Five Senses
I really loved the concept of this book—five friends getting supernatural powers and using them to beat up thugs terrorizing neighborhoods is good stuff. I enjoyed that this departed from the “save the world” angle to focus on making change at a more personal level. I think that’s important because saving the world feels overwhelming. But if people read and get inspired by saving your corner of the world, it makes change seem much more attainable.
While the overall story resonated, I had a tough time getting into the reading experience. I didn’t really feel like I got to know any of the characters beyond basic “he/she likes this thing and has this struggle.” There were also a few points where very specific struggles were laid out, such as saying a character suffered from this type of trauma because of these problematic moments in their past, to the point where it felt more like reading a textbook than a story. The fight scenes struck me as a bit campy with the characters yelling things like “you want to know what pain feels like.” That kind of thing isn’t for me, but others may feel differently.
Overall, great idea that I didn’t get into as much as I would have liked, but I still definitely recommend giving this a shot. It’s good YA with male characters, something that I don’t see enough of, so yay for representation, as well.
About K.N. Smith
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. Visit K.N. Smith at www.knsmith.com.
K.N. Smith will be awarding a $75 VISA eGift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.