Review by OskaWrites -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

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OskaWrites
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Latest Review: Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Review by OskaWrites -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Post by OskaWrites » 13 Apr 2019, 06:22

[Following is a volunteer review of "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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While I am not one to judge a book by it’s cover, before I even began reading Final Notice I expected to dive into a story of revenge, shootouts and painfully grey morality. What I was instead faced with was a fascinating sci-fi/political piece that gradually builds tension up along the main plot-line of Vince and Trudi’s relationship with guns. The story mixes in with snippets of other people taking advantage of the VT2’s ‘Final Notice’ feature - a notification to indicate how many days they have left to live - to commit violent crime before their days come to an end. Van Fleisher’s book provides a fascinating insight into the minds of the modern American as gun violence continues to be a rising issue.

While the plot and concept I very much enjoyed, my main complaint for this story was some of the execution choices for it. While there is plenty of good dialogue and characterisation, a large amount of it seems to be wasted on very on-the-nose discussions of gun control. While I see the point of the open conversation, it felt entirely needless considering the entire book covers the subject well enough on its own without directly telling the reader what to think.

Strangely, towards the end the fourth wall is temporarily broken as the prose addresses the reader with “the author”s views and ideas. This happens exactly twice within a few paragraphs of each other and never again. Naturally this came off very unexpected and confusing, as the prosaic style up until that point had been consistent and focused on the narrative.

Otherwise the story had a great hook, and the main cast were for the most part very enjoyable, wonderfully diverse, and well fleshed out. The development of the characters views and how they radically change is well-paced and naturally progressing given their circumstances. I can only say I wish some of this had been put sooner in the book as it begins slow, which is a real coin flip considering the sheer intensity of the final few pages. Had we been thrown in the deep end earlier on this book would have had all the makings of a really effective, page-turning thriller that I hoped it would be.

Despite these things I was very invested in the events of this book and took a personal shine to Trudi’s character. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone looking for near-modern sci-fi, or anything politically focused. All in all I rate this book two out of four stars, almost the gripping piece it could have been and in need of a last few editing checks.

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Final Notice
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