I haven't read that many novels featuring the Titan crew, so I have no real point of comparison. I don't know what it is about Martin's writing style that makes some of his stories hard to get into even if the story premise is appealing. ("The Good That Men Do" has been on my bookshelf collecting for two years.)
I don't why the Prime Directive would even be an issue when preventing the Gorn from committing genocide. That's part that always seems so idiotic. I would think the powers that be would have more of a realpolitik
mindset when it comes to dealing with the Gorn and technology they had dibs on. The prologue make you feel bad for the Gorn's predicament. But in this post-Dominion War, post-Borg invasion, there's no such thing as "implied dibs."