4 out of 4 stars
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What would you do if you knew you were going to die in a month? Van Fleisher makes each reader ask themselves that question in his novel, Final Notice, where your smartwatch monitors much more than a Garmin can. The VT2 can measure, analyze, and even diagnose complex health issues. The VT2 also issues the wearer a notice when they have ten, twenty, or thirty days remaining in their life. The wearer can input their doctor’s information so that they also get alerted. This can help the individual take control of their final days.
With these smart watches in the user testing phase, there are a number of murders committed by senior citizens after getting their notice warning them of their imminent death. One person chose to murder a cashier who was rude to him, while another shot twelve of his fellows in a retirement home. Others made less fatal choices upon receiving their notices such as having their guns melted down or donating belongings to charities. With the NRA in the novel giving hefty discounts to senior citizens, will these shootings continue?
The book follows Vince and Trudi as they go through personal struggles for and against gun ownership. This internal struggle is one that I have often faced. I was raised in a rural area where guns were a normal part of life, and now I live in a safe town where guns are not nearly as necessary. This book led me to the decision to not get a gun, as I had been considering for safety on my long trail runs. If you are considering buying a gun but you are truly on the fence, I’d recommend reading this book, as the characters go through many factual pros and cons to gun ownership.
I can honestly say that this was my favorite book of 2018 so far. Final Notice may not be as enjoyable for readers that have conservative leanings, as it is highly satirical and in favor of left leaning policies. One of the news organizations talked about in the book is BrightFahrt, clearly satirizing Breitbart. If you find that to be amusing, then this book is for you. This book is chock full of politics that are sometimes painful to read because they ring so true, even while being satirical.
Overall, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I was sucked into the world created in the book and the characters felt like friends I was having deep conversations with. I was slightly disappointed by a few questions I had when I finished the last chapter, only to find a full epilogue detailing each one of my questions about how the characters were doing. I did find a few grammatical errors in Final Notice but they were inconsequential, e.g. capitalizing a dog breed that is not a proper noun. These errors didn’t detract from my thorough enjoyment of this novel, which is why I feel so confident in my rating.
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