Review by jessinikkip -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

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jessinikkip
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Review by jessinikkip -- Final Notice by Van Fleisher

Post by jessinikkip » 06 Mar 2018, 17:16

[Following is a volunteer review of "Final Notice" by Van Fleisher.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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There is a question that has been asked a lot of times, that most people think they know the answer to, and that question is “What would you do if you knew you only had a week to live?” The book Final Notice by Van Fleisher shows us how several different people answer that exact question and many of them were rather surprising.

A company called VitalTech has developed a new version of the sports watch. It’s much like ones made by the current Fitbit or Garmin brands and able to track movement and general health of the wearer as well as connecting to a smartphone app for easier reading and monitoring. However, there is one big difference in that this new watch also can check vital signs like pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels in the blood to issue out what is called a “Final Notice”. This final notice option tells users in the first test group when they have one week left to live, to give them time to alert their family, see the doctor and straighten up their will. In later groups it was expanded to up to 30 days.

While VitalTech is launching the tests for their new VT2 watch, the NRA is hard at work as well. There is a campaign to arm seniors at a discounted price. They say that women and the elderly are less able to defend themselves and are getting attacked more often. As such, they need to be armed to defend themselves. These two elements combine into a dangerous string of attacks as people with nothing left to lose use those discounted guns to exact revenge, like a man taking out a store clerk who months earlier had belittled him or another taking out his stepson and wife when the fighting became unbearable.

What stood out to me in this book wasn’t the amount of push the NRA was giving towards the guns or VitalTech’s inability to see that they were, in some part, causing this with their final notice option. What stood out most was the character of Vince and his wife Trudi. They are both regular citizens, both over 65 but still in good health and good physical shape. They watch what is happening in the world and almost seem to hold their breath, on the edge of realizing they need to be able to protect themselves, but also not wanting to own a gun and open the possibility of anything going wrong.

I admit, I was skeptical about this book before I started reading it. A lot of times when an author tries to tackle a subject like gun control or advancing technology, it ends up going wrong in the book. This was not the case here. The topic was well covered and I ended up giving the book 4 out of 4 stars. The characters are plentiful but they are all covered with enough backstory to make you care about them. As you learn a little more about each one of them, you start to see why they react the way they do to the ongoing break down. I noted down a couple of grammar points, but for me they were minor enough to not distract from the story.

The plot of this book is not something magical or too out of the realm of ordinary that one could expect it to not happen, and that makes it even better. One doesn’t have to imagine hard to see the NRA pushing guns on seniors and claiming to make them safer, or technology advancing to be able to give someone that pinpoint measurement of the end of their life.

The only questions left unanswered are what would you, as a reader, do with just one week left to live? And would you even want to dare to find out?

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Final Notice
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