4 out of 4 stars
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Final Notice by Van Fleisher is a fiction novel that discusses many politically sensitive topics through a well-thought-out story of a watch and an elderly couple. The story follows two main characters. The first is Vijay Patel, the creator of a revolutionary smart watch that can read your vital signs and can accurately give you a “Final Notice” of when you will die from natural causes. The second main character is Vince Fuller, a recipient of one of these watches who also happens to buy a gun. The author intertwines these two story lines with many other character cameos and short stories to make a point about the dangers of gun ownership, the abuse that elderly people face and the unintended consequences of new technology.
The novel intertwines many storylines of people who have received their “Final Notice” and how they react. While some have simply updated their wills and donated their belongings, others bought a gun through the special NRA senior discount program and murdered those who were rude to them. While I was leery at first about the large amount of characters in this novel, I believe the author did a great job of showcasing the different reactions to a revolutionary technology without dragging the characters along for the rest of the book.
I found this novel to be an interesting and highly relevant read given the number of shootings and the heated discussions about gun law in recent years. This novel takes a generally anti-NRA and pro safe gun law stance. However, through the introduction of different characters with guns in this novel, the author made a point that it depends on the individual person and their situation when deciding to act violently or not. I found myself trying to guess whether a character would use the gun once they received their “Final Notice”. Each story had a twist and a different ending than I predicted. I was never bored or felt that the novel was dragging.
The author also raises another important question about the responsibility of business and the government as it relates to controversial new technology. Vijay was torn about the number of murders and deaths caused by this new watch feature and questioned whether to remove the “Final Notice” feature in favor of public safety. In the end the author shows that as new technology is created the company has a responsibility to release it to the public. While I am not sure I agreed with their final decision to release the feature to the public, this novel had me questioning my beliefs at every turn.
Overall, this novel was thought provoking and well written. Each time I put the book down, I contemplated the issues that will face us in the not so distant future. With every story the author would sway my opinion back and forth on each issue. I constantly found myself asking, what would I do if I received my “Final Notice”? I would recommend this book to anyone who is a deep thinker and interested in politics. I would however, not recommend it to any member of the NRA or a staunch gun supporter. I give Final Notice by Van Fleisher 4 out of 4 stars because of the author’s ability to introduce so many characters without it being overwhelming and because the story really makes the reader pause and question their beliefs. I will be recommending this book to my friends and family.
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