I really, really tried hard to like this book and even managed to work through 2/3 of it before finally putting it down, unfinished.
While I was hoping for something along the line of many of the Kris Longknife, Vatta, or Serrano series, from this novel, I was very disappointed. I was also very much into David Drake's futuristic novels of armored warfare and David Sherman's futuristic Marines, I found "One Day on Mars" lacking.
I would like to think Mr. Taylor might be prior service, and drawn a lot of what he was writing from his own experience but I found the feeling mixed. While there were many jargons and `military-speaks' throughout the book, at the same time, I found myself repeatedly coming across someone being referred to, by his rank of second lieutenant; that might not be very important in itself and would have served fine the first couple of times around to introduce that character but by the middle of the book, it became very tiresome, long-winded and sounding uncomfortable, reading about how second lieutenant this, second lieutenant that. From personal experience, I served as such and never, NEVER, have I had anyone addressed me as `Second Lieutenant..."; from enlisted ranks to superior officers, 2nd and 1st lieutenants were all lumped together by all, with no real rank difference... the only time I was addressed as 2nd Lt was when I was getting my butt chewed by my CO. So, why, why would Mr. Taylor felt the need to repeat it over and over. Awkward.
Finally, I would like to address the main reason why I couldn't finish the book. I agreed with the other reviewers about Transfomers and such. It appeared that Mr. Taylor was writing for the far younger crowds than someone who would enjoy an oldie like Robert Heinlein's "Starship Troopers"!
I never could understand the benefits of some futuristic war machines transforming into robots with arms, legs and wings to fight. If whatever weapons were readily available, why relocate them from such secured mountings just to hold them in some mechanical hands!!!? Would that have assisted in better aiming? I found heavily mounted crew-served weapons like machineguns and autocannons far more stable and accurate than if I were to fire something by hands alone. So why? And to have some space-based fighter planes morphing into giant mechanical eagles to fly, fight and land!? Come on! I feel like I was watching some Saturday morning cartoons instead of reading what I hoped was some serious military sci-fi.
So, fellow sci-fi readers, if you do not care for giant fighting robots like I do, leave this book for someone else. Whatever good writing or what was left of possibly great story lines were overshadowed by the juvenile inclusions of fighting, transforming robots... Ops, I meant 'Mecha'.
Sad, I tried very hard to finish the book, and even harder to like it. Oh well, onto something else then.