Book rant incoming...
I thought both "Wool" and "The Martian" were fine, but neither were amazing works. The plots were fine, but I felt the language in both was bland, simple, and by-the-numbers. Many have been lavishing those books with high praise, and I just don't see it. I've also felt the same sort of twinge regarding Charlie Stross' last couple Laundry novels. And I liked Steelheart, but it was also simple (of course, that's a YA title so maybe I got what I paid for).
I also note that I've been reading these as ebooks rather than paper books and I wonder if that is coloring my perception of the writing itself. I'm not a terribly discerning reader; I don't need my genre fiction to be "Literature" (whatever that might be). But I feel like something is missing.
Another possibility is that many of my favorite authors are writing YA now (instead of "Adult") fiction and it affects all their work. In the abstract, I don't mind this as I don't require taboo topics and themes (sex, graphic violence, four-letter words) in my reading. But I wonder if authors are also pulling back on the structure of and language in their books as well. If so, I think that's a mistake; I didn't need my books dumbed down structurally when I was a teen.
Related: I'm looking for suggestions for some recent-ish scifi to read. Any suggestions?
(I should note that the writing in the Wool series improved markedly by the last book.)