"The assassin crept toward the house through cold blue beams, moonlight dancing across the forest floor in a handful of silver coins." ~ S.A. Hunt, The Whirlwind in the Thorn Tree (pg.1).
This one sentence immediately soured me to this book. This is, easily one of the worst opening lines I have read. It is painful to read. It mixes up what it is talking about. It has two different color descriptions for what should be one thing. It sounds like a fantasy book, but is written like modern fiction.
I read this, and on a macro scale, I understood that the whole thing was essentially a man walking through beams of moonlight towards a house. I get it.
But when I first was reading it, I thought, "cold blue beams of what?" I pictured silver coins scattered on a forest floor, shining in the moonlight.
I took a step back.
Cold blue beams of moonlight. Maybe they should have done of instead of a comma. But that messes up the rest of it.
"The assassin crept toward the house through cold blue beams of moonlight dancing across the forest floor in a handful of silver coins."
No, that is really bad too. Now it feels like the creeping assassin is dancing. Also, again what is up with the silver coins? That's when I realized, that the silver coins are describing how these little beams of moonlight look like when the land on the forest floor.
So they took the word like from the simile. It makes it harder to parse. But after a few moments I was able to understand the opening paragraph of this story. I immediately gave up on reading it.