One Day on Mars: Tau Ceti, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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It's 24 on Mars: a non-stop futuristic thrill-ride, all in one day, through the critical events which were the breaking point for the underclass of Martian citizens and precipitated a revolution to break the Martian colonists free from the formidable Sol System government. The formerly red planet would never be the same, nor would the human race.
It was one day that changed the course of history for the Solar System, raging from hand-to-hand combat to piloted armored mecha suits clashing to an enormous space battle, with dedicated heroes on both sides of the conflict wondering if they were doing the right thing and if they would live to see another day. And wondering, as well, if the spark of this new war that would eventually reach across whole star systems, would bring them peace.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 27 minutes|
|Author||Travis S. Taylor|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||January 05, 2010|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #218,936 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#3,305 in Space Opera Science Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#3,909 in Adventure Science Fiction
#14,115 in Space Operas
Top reviews from the United States
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One area not under US control is the Separatist Reservation. The Separatist movement on Mars has occupied the Reservation for thirty years or more. Their population was purged of all dissenters and then the populace multiplied to over thirty million individuals. Only their own people are allowed within the Reservation.
The US public thinks of the Separatists as terrorists because of their original tactics. However, the Separatists now have their own Army and Navy. The US forces occasionally battle the Separatist forces across the frontier.
In this novel, Nancy Penzington is a CIA operative trying to infiltrate herself into Separatist society. The Martian Squadron of the US Navy is attacking across the border as a diversion. Nancy flies through the battle toward the Phlega Montes in the back seat of an Ares fighter.
Just before the fighter reaches Phlega, it launches a tactical nuke at the city and Nancy ejects from the plane. The bomb gives her a dose of radiation poisoning, but she has already taken an anti-rad shot. By the time she joins the survivors fleeing the city, Nancy will have a convincing case of induced radioactivity and fever.
Meanwhile, the President of the United States of America -- William Alberts -- is a Democrat and is congratulating himself over his ninety-six percent approval rating after seven years in office. He almost cancels his daily intelligence brief (as he has done for the past thirteen months and four days), but decides that the briefing would make a good excuse for missing a meeting with the Reservation Historical Fund Society.
General Elle Ahmi -- Commander of all Separatist forces and the head of state of the Separatists -- is directing the evacuation of the civilians from the Reservation. She is dressed in her usual public garb, martian camouflage BDUs and a red, white and blue ski mask, with her hair pulled back in a pony tail. She hasn't shown her face in public for decades.
Senator Alexander Moore is a relatively junior member of the US Senate. He is also a member of the Republican party and a former Marine. He has been sent to Mars to negotiate with the Separatists. Of course, the Separatists take his appointment as a direct insult.
In this story, Nancy -- now taking the name and persona of Kira Shavi -- has located the fleeing civilians headed toward a train station. She attaches herself to a man, woman, child and AI Kitty and accompanies them to the station. On the way, she learns that they will be leaving Mars and traveling to Tau Ceti. The timing is confusing, but she has learned to live with some confusion and just goes with the flow.
President Alberts is shown some satellite photos of a Separatist military base. Then he is told that the Separatists have apparently developed some sort of cloaking device that precludes satellite observation of Separatist military equipment. He asks for more information and is told that an attempt to infiltrate an operative is already underway.
Senator Moore is walking through the shopping district on Mons Olympus with his wife and daughter. They are watching an American supercarrier when an explosion occurs in the ship and it crashes within the southern district of the city. They obtain environmental suits at a nearby store and Moore notifies the local military of his plight.
The Martian Marines sent to rescue Senator Moore and his family run into a Separatist invasion of the city. It seems that both the explosion on the supercarrier and the invasion are part of a Separatist plot. Since only Nancy Penzington knows of the Separatist evacuation, none can think of a reason for the violence.
This tale introduces several bits of advanced technology, beginning with the AIC -- artificial intelligence counterpart -- implanted within the brain of many characters. Then there are nonpropellent propulsion systems on the spaceships, planes and other equipment. In addition, there are QM -- quantum membrane -- communication devices.
This novel could have used some copyediting. The most troublesome problem was in the timeframe. The 2383 AD stated above came from a thought of William Alberts in the first part of the book, but elsewhere the separation of the workers from Mons was given as 2379. Yet the establishment of the Reservation was stated as thirty years prior to this story.
The villains in this story are the Separatists. Yet somehow one feels a touch of empathy with Elle Ahmi. How could a murdering terrorist seem so understandable?
The story is non-stop action from the moment that General Quarters is announced on the USS Sienna Madira, sending Nancy in a hurry to the flight deck and the back seat of the Ares fighter. There are moments of relative calm, but the battles are going on elsewhere until the very last chapter. Enjoy!
Highly recommended for Taylor fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of naval and military action, political consternation, and personal heroism.
-Arthur W. Jordin
In both books, Taylor tries very hard to capture, almost minute-by-minute, the action in a major military engagement and gets bogged down in trivial detail. The reader doesn't need every grunt and groan from the mecha pilots. In fact, the reader doesn't need a transcript of the radio transmissions. And I would bet very few readers cared about having the serial number of every AI implant. If the Captain's AI is "Uncle Timmy," that's fine: I don't need to have its official identifier spelled out in military phonetics. But what I do need is some idea of why the battle is taking place.
The main complaint I have with Taylor's writing (I've read three of his books to date) is that character and plot development are apparently completely foreign to him, as is context. There's strife between the United States, which apparently runs the entire planet in Taylor's universe, and the Separatists, but we don't have the events leading up to this battle. We don't know why, other than from some vague references, the Separatists are so bloodthirsty. I guess it's because they're bad guys with no redeeming features, but that doesn't really seem to be the case.
Alexander Moore, who is the actual protagonist in both "One Day on Mars" and "The Tau Ceti Agenda" is utterly flat. Taylor makes him out to be so wonderful, you almost expect him to walk on water, but you don't really learn much about him. Elle Ahmi, the Separatist leader, would be a very interesting character if we knew more about her. In spite of the fact they're nasty, bad and evil, I found myself wanting to know more about the Separatists who seem to be a force for human exploration and progress.
Whether you agree with the politics or not, there's too much of it. I don't mind a conservative viewpoint (or a liberal one, for that matter), but it shouldn't run the story. As it is, the "Republicans good and strong, Democrats bad and weak" comes across as jingoistic hooey.
Incidentally, those reviewers who complain about the use of titles in the military should know that is fairly accurate. A Master Chief Petty Officer really is addressed as "Master Chief Petty Officer" and the Chief of the Boat is addressed as such. One thing for which Taylor can't be faulted is his knowledge of military usage, slang and love of acronyms.
As it stands, "One Day on Mars" would make a good TV show or comic book for pubescent boys and those who avoid challenging reading. Which is sad because Taylor has a vision of a fascinating future and an epic struggle whose outcome might have a great impact on the future of humanity and that's the story I wish he was telling.
The elements of a good book/series are all here, but they're not well put together. That might partially be the fault of the editor, as I saw a number of errors, such as duplicating the exact sentence in describing a setting. Also, the books wanders a bit, as if written in pieces over a large period of time, while doing other, more important work in-between.
I figure there will be a follow-up to this book because it seems designed that way. Hopefully the writing will be tighter and the editing will be better: The best authors also have the best editors, because editors can tighten up a plot and the over story into much cleaner package.
The late Jim Baen has assembled an incredible array of talent and I hope they stay together to continue their work. While this is not one of the best Baen has published, it is far better than some of the other sci-fi put out by other publishers. Read this to prepare for the follow-up title and let's hope that improves to the level of Taylor's previous works.