I'm over at The Book Smugglers doing my monthly A Dude Reads PNR [paranormal romance for the uneducated], in which I venture into the literary equivalent of a girl's pinky pink room [which for male SFF readers is not exactly geek heaven]. I enjoy PNR for a number of reasons, one of which is the raunch [yes, I believe that the romance these days is more erotica]. I allow PNR a lot of things I would usually discuss and ostracize in other books [guilty pleasure]. The long prologue here has a purpose and that is: I can be mean to PNR books, when given sufficient reasons:
The disaster, when considering the prose, is her abuse of the word laugh in all of its forms. In the first 18 pages, Banks uses this word above twenty times. That is at least one time per page, but Banks abuses it in clusters, often enough to drive any person insane. I know it is a small thing, but imagine walking 200 miles with a pebble in your shoe. I certainly do not want to find out how many times the word pops up until the end. Since I have a PDF review copy, I tried counting and gave up at additional 60 laughs, laughing, laughter. BEFORE I reached page 60. Small thing, people, but universally annoying. Is this novel the Joker? Can’t it not stop laughing?
I continue in this fashion [HERE]Technically, Meko hasn’t done anything other than kidnap and clean her face with a damp cloth in order to be entitled to use this phrase. Even sparing her life is not the right context to use it. I’m not even sure if the phrase has been coined during this period. The earliest mention I’ve found dates back to 1915, way after the Indian Wars. It’s simply too modern sounding.
But Diablo seems to have an issue with staying historically true to the spirit of the era. The first time we meet Francesca, she states how she uses linen strips to flatten her chest, but she uses the verb camouflage. A word which first appears in 1917 and is again, very modern.