4 out of 4 stars
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The author of Final Notice, Van Fletcher, keeps us on the edges of our seats as we read this rather realistic fiction novel based in modern-day America. He set out to share the concerns he had compiled over extensive careers with airlines and as a management consultant. Shedding light on issues that concern us all: politics, school shootings, NRA callousness, lack of attention and care to elderly, ethics of science and capitalism, immigration, and racial tensions among others. Amazingly, with all that weight, the author manages to keep it a page-turner with the ominous theme of the book- if you knew exactly when you were going to die, what would you do?
The story is told through the perspectives of the various characters, some that are patients in an experimental trial. They are testing a new high-tech watch that can monitor their health and even tell them if they will soon meet their maker, hence the Final Notice. Vijay Patel, a doctor twice over, built his company, VitalTech, while developing an outright wonder of technology. Dr. Patel was ready to share his high-tech watch with the world; believing he could control the rollout of the product while ensuring it was effective and respectful of society’s needs. He had little clue as to how many people capitalism would bring to the table and how many variables they didn’t consider. Shortly after the study commences, a few of the test participants resort to gun violence once they receive their Final Notice. The gun violence sends the media and the public into a frenzy- ultimately triggering FBI involvement. VitalTech scrambles to create fixes before their next round of trials, hoping desperately that they are not at any fault for their "rogue" patients. These instances paired with school shootings end up creating public enemy number one- the NRA- for diluting politicians, stopping gun-control legislation and flooding the streets with assault rifles. Citizens are ready to take action.
I did feel it was a one-sided text, liberal as some would say. Much of the views of the NRA were based on blurbs on the television or the views of characters in the book and not from “an NRA insider” perspective. The plot was not so enjoyable to me as news reports described by the author, nearly mirrored what is seen in the daily news in America, where I am from. Like most other Americans I have been shutting the news off, trying to escape from the mess of society. However, the book does an interesting job of delivering the much-needed perspective to help us swallow the daily jargon of our modern times-with compassion.
The author accomplished his goal of getting an audience to understand a wide breadth of topics throughout the book; surprisingly without them getting watered down in the process. This success is rooted in the extensive background stories of the various characters the author was able to create and then bring to life. The realism of the dialogue was remarkable considering the span of issues brought to light through their personal experiences; they left me very empathetic and considerate of each one’s point of view. I greatly enjoyed the characters, they really sold the story and made it worth the read.
Final Notice is most definitely an eye opener and an enjoyable read. Deserving of a high rating in regard to the writing skill engaged to deliver the intricate and interesting detail into science, business, politics, through the daily lives of it’s’ characters. The book was impeccably organized for the variety of perceptions expressed and without any real mistakes. I give Final Notice a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend this book to all mature audiences as it brings about real-world understandings with an exhilarating storyline that keeps your brain churning with emotions.
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