4 out of 4 stars
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Van Fleisher’s novel, Final Notice, is a political thriller that explores two dangerous sides of a similar coin: the Orwellian, sci-fi possibility of technology going too far and the very real situation of both today’s gun politics and elder care. Final Notice is a chilling glimpse into human potential that asks the reader: What would you do if you knew you had a week left to live?
Fleisher does not follow just one character throughout the novel. The chapters vacillate between different people and places that, through the central theme of the book, are connected. I find this technique to be very effective toward developing a well-rounded story that takes advantage of the varied perspectives that would otherwise be lost by a single or couple character-driven narrative. This way of bouncing between narratives keeps the plot going at a steady pace while building suspense to the reveal toward the end. Fleisher does continually bring the story back to Vince and Trudi, whom I was able to become emotionally invested through the author’s well-written dialogue and characterization. The most effective quality to Final Notice is Fleisher’s ability to balance suspense and predictability as the story traverses through topics that are rather tumultuous in today’s political clime.
There are very few qualities to Final Notice that I do not like. The story is well-written and fulfills its promise to make the reader productively uncomfortable by way of making a very well-stated point about today’s gun laws but also healthcare and the elder population. I would have liked some relief from the cynicism of how many characters react to discovering their final day approaching. A point needed to be made in this story, however, so I find that one detail—or lack thereof—understandable.
I recommend Final Notice to anyone who is interested in the current relationship between the public, politics, and the NRA, and also to readers who enjoy contemplating the possibilities of technology and how the same shapes our day-to-day lives. This novel is specifically left-leaning, so certain audiences might be frustrated by the novel’s contents or political message. I strongly advise, however, that anyone looking for a thought-provoking story select Final Notice for their next read.
I give Van Fleisher’s Final Notice 4 out of 4 stars. This novel, although fiction, highlights the stark realities of contemporary issues and encourages readers to think critically about where society is headed if we continue on the current track. I appreciate Van Fleisher for writing Final Notice, and I am pleased to have had the opportunity to read his work.
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