4 out of 4 stars
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Trudi and Vince are a retired couple who live a comfortable life. Vince is faced with a situation of age discrimination around the same time news emerges of the NRA, National Rifle Association, offering discounts to senior citizens, arguing that senior citizens are easy targets and, therefore, need to carry guns to protect themselves. This news is the catalyst that drives the gun ownership debate for Trudi and Vince. Through much discussion and some unsettling, life-threatening events, Trudi and Vince both make some risky decisions and in the end discover exactly how they truly feel about owning a gun.
While Trudi and Vince are one storyline to follow, there is a coinciding storyline: that of Vijay Patel and his invention of the VT2, a product for Vijay's company VitalTech. The VT2 is the latest in smartwatch technology, which accurately reads anomalies in your blood and can detect within 30 days of the day you will die - a featured called final notice. The VT2 alpha test includes those who are older in age - the same people the NRA is targeting to put guns in their hands. While some people learn that they have the ability to put their affairs in order, others discover they can have revenge with consequence.
The best part of Final Notice is how realistic it is. The last line of the book reminds the reader that the story is fiction. It was wise of the author to put that in there because these events really could unfold, for better or worse. Final Notice hits home with the recent school shooting at Parkland in Florida - similar events take place in the novel that highlight the argument of gun control in both our schools and the country as a whole. Fingers point predominantly to politics and the crookedness we have in our government today. The author, Van Fleisher, explains in a separate note at the end of the novel that we need to be placing decent human beings - "who set the right tone of civility" - in positions of government power. He hit the nail on the head.
If I were to provide one bit of criticism for the novel, it would be the amount of characters that appear to have their own stories. There are a lot of people to try to keep track of, but you don't have to keep track of every one. A handful are side stories or catalyst events that affect the two main storylines of Trudi and Vince and the VT2 development, so I understand the reason for their inclusion. If you read this novel, know that you don't need to remember who every single person is and their story, just those that follow along in the main plot lines. I did appreciate the connection the author made between different characters and how Vince's path eventually crosses with the VT2.
I would give Final Notice a rating of 4 out of 4. It is smart, political, realistic, and relevant. Anyone who cares about the future of our country should be inspired by this novel.
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