Between this and StF, I wish an editor would encourage Martin not to indulge in starting the story with the aliens. Frankly, if I hadn't forced myself to get through that first chapter to get to the Titan's crew, I could have set it down and not regretted it later. I might be the only one that feels that way, but I think if someone is going to start the story with a more-or-less unfamiliar alien culture instead of the familiar characters, the writing needs to be extraordinarily strong, and this, IMHO, was not.
You're not alone. I really had to fight myself not to put it down during that horrible prologue.
It got better after that, but still not impressive at all.