4 out of 4 stars
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If your watch told you that you only had 10 days to live, what would you do? This is the premise of Van Fleisher’s science fiction novel Final Notice. This is a story set in the near future, with several different plotlines. Written in the third person, the story follows the life of one senior citizen couple, the company VitalTech and FBI agent Zoe Brouet.
Vijay is the inventor of an amazing piece of technology, a sports watch called VT2. Among its many functions, the VT2 can predict when the wearer will die of natural causes. The accuracy of this function depends on the time left before death occurs. He sets up a company called VitalTech to sell these watches.
In the meantime, the NRA (National Rifle Association), in trying to promote the sale of guns, have given a discount to senior citizens and pressured the government into relaxing legislation concerning who can own a gun.
During the test phase of the VT2, several people commit crimes knowing that there is no way they can be prosecuted. The apparent lack of motive for these multiple crimes brings them to the attention of the FBI. Agent Bouret is assigned to track down the cause of the crimes. At the same time, an old couple finds out about the crimes on the internet, and start discussing whether or not they should buy a gun.
Although this book is an action packed thriller, there is also an underlining moral running throughout the story, gun control. Regardless of how you feel about guns, this story is great, it argues both for more guns and for more gun controls. For myself, I don’t think that access to guns is the problem, I think this story talks more of the moral turpitude of the populous in general. What do you think?
The part I loved most about this story is the way the old couple wake up to life again. After several years of coasting, they get a wakeup call and start to join in with the world again. It is brilliant how they embrace modern technology, and get themselves laptops and an ipad. So often, we hear “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” that this element really appealed to me.
The part I didn’t like was the number of people who were capable of murder, just because they didn’t have to face any consequences. Although I believe there will be some who would do that, I was really depressed that the author felt such a high percentage of the test group would go that route.
This book is excellently written, not only does it flow smoothly, transitioning between the different aspects of the storyline with ease, it is also almost error free. I only spotted one mistake in the whole book. There are many characters in the story which all seem to be well rounded and multi-dimensional, they are easy to relate too, and act consistently throughout.
The ending of the story took me complete surprise. After reading it I thought back and could say “Yes, it was all leading to this” but before hand, I didn’t see it coming. This, along with the way that it is written means I have no qualms in giving this a rating of 4 out of 4 stars. I think this book would appeal to any sci-fi fans and/or thriller fans.
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