When I was merely remembering my experience, I wanted to begin by calling a relatively prominent book garbage. That was pretty harsh, and not deserved. Actually, the worst part was just a single sentence, which bugged me a lot, but probably doesn't deserve much scorn. It was:
"His pate looks like a polished ostrich egg."
Maybe I should abandon using this as an example, but it put me off the whole book. I didn't even finish reading the first chapter after seeing that. It's just so deliberately obscure – without my enjoying the television program Elementary, I wouldn't know what the pate is, and I think it's fair to say, if ostrich eggs had any properties unique to them and not shared with every other type of egg, I would not have visualized it.
He's trying to say the guy is bald! His name is Curly, and he's explaining the name, but I guess in this fantasy dystopia you don't have The Three Stooges, so the author's compulsion to explain why someone would be named Curly, despite having little hair left, has to be stuffed into this unusually cryptic aside. But this is distracting from this character dying in front of us. I get it. They're stone cold killers, and would rather remark on this dude's nickname. But if it was just a lighthearted tease, to show both familiarity and disregard, make it something I can actually understand without engaging a encyclopedic knowledge of English.
Obviously my reaction was mostly unwarranted. I get it. This book probably is actually good, and I'll grow to appreciate it. But I really dislike people trying to sound fancy. It's what I hate most about my own writing. I don't want people thinking they're fancy because they read fancy words, and weird metaphors. If you have a point, say it. If you have a character, be true to them. The no-nonsense mercenary medic should be precisely whatever he needs to be – but I'm not sure it makes sense that he'd put on airs to the audience reading the book. That would be a bit too fourth-wall-breaking for this story.
But everyone wants prestige. They want people to read their thoughts and think they're clever, even when they aren't. So they dress up their writing. But disguises are even more distracting than bad writing. They make me focus on how fancy the writer thinks they are. And I'd prefer to just avoid books like that.