2 out of 4 stars
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While I enjoyed the book Final Notice and the way Author Van Fleisher used this story to address many hard-hitting issues in modern day society I could only rate it 2 out of 4 stars. My main reason for this is that there was so much more telling than showing, and several errors including pronoun confusion. Also, there was a lot of head-hopping within the same scene, which was quite jarring.
To summarize this story, Final Notice is a suspenseful story relating to the hot-topic issue of gun control, as well as how we view our elderly citizens and even immigrants in today's society. It follows a few different storylines; including the aftermath of a shooting at a nursing home, and Vince Fuller—an older gentleman still seething from being bullied at a mall. The NRA is offering a discount on firearms to senior citizens, and Fuller (amongst others) contemplates such a purchase. It will make you question how you feel about these issues, and contemplate them deeper. There is also the alpha and beta testing of a unique product—a smartwatch that warns you when you are about to die, so you can get your affairs in order. More questions arise about the NRA senior citizen discount, as events similar to that at the nursing home unfold—all from the alpha test group for the VT2 and its Final Notice feature. Are people seeing the Final Notice as a way to commit revenge without punishment? Which is more important, human lives or a corporation's bottom line?
Van Fleisher writes in a casual, colloquial voice (and uses "OK" instead of "okay" and "all ‘round" instead of "all around") but it works for this story. He also uses tongue-in-cheek humor and irony with character names to illustrate his points (for example "Wimpy" and "Crued".)
What I liked most was the characters Vince and Trudi Fuller, and how they were like real people that we could relate to. There are a lot of other characters too that represent unique and diverse groups of people, across all ages races and backgrounds. The character Sen. John McAdams and FBI agent Zoe Brouet, as well as an elderly gentleman named Nigel in the UK were also likable, relatable characters. I enjoyed how the many storylines all revolved around the same issues, and how the story made you think (or re-think) about your stance on many issues.
What I disliked the most was that there was so many "info dumps" and head hopping. A few more details to some of these scenes would have really added to the storylines, rather than making some of them seem glossed over. The head hopping (often within the same scene, or during a conversation as in chapter 16) caused some confusion regarding who was speaking, etc. Also, there are times where the author Van Fleisher pulls you out of a scene using phrases like "…The author is compelled to say," and "the author was tempted to say," which I found a little distracting.
Those issues aside, I think that lovers of political thrillers and suspense would enjoy this story; as well as anyone who likes a quick, fast-paced read. I think that senior citizens and people who are interested in the major topics discussed in this book will find it enlightening as well as entertaining. I found it both intriguing and thought-provoking.
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