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Dr. Vijay Patel has invented a watch that monitors health and alerts the user when their time is up. Unfortunately during alpha testing, the doc and his team learn of an unexpected side effect, murder. When more incidents of gun violence pop-up in the media, it’s not long before the FBI and the NRA are thrown into the mix.
Final Notice by Van Fleisher is a modern day story filled with an abundance of characters designed to reflect the complexities of American politics and issues like gun control, school shootings, and global warming. This page turner tale covers a wide range of issues within a creative fictional story and has the reader hopping back and forth both geographically and storyline.
I enjoyed the authors way of transitioning between storylines using news stories seen by the characters on television and in the newspaper to connect otherwise unrelated stories. His descriptive character development painted accurate pictures of the diverse American population, creating believable and relatable people. The stories I liked the most were the short snipettes about the different watch recipients. Learning about a person’s life in a concise story helps to understand the actions they took upon learning time was up.
I became annoyed by the number of side stories that had more to do with anti-gun politics without acknowledging the real problem, the mental health of people and their ability to obtain a gun. Some readers may become overwhelmed by the sheer number of storylines and characters that they may not even find the point the author is trying to make regarding guns. In addition, there are some storylines and aspects that seemed unnecessary (romantic relationship of Vijay and Jennifer) and in one case, completely unbelievable (Trudi and the NRA shoot-out). With so many open storylines, the author had that many more conclusions to make, some of which were sloppy and abrupt.
I give Final Notice 3 out of 4 stars based on the quality of the writing and the creative storytelling. It does not get a perfect score due to the incidents of the author’s voice interrupting the story to insult the reader. I feel the author tried to cover too many topics in one book and as a result, no real solution was found. A focus on the aspect of mental health and how big a role it plays with regard to gun violence could have been better addressed through the watch participant characters.
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