I couldn't put my finger on it, but something about Starfish by Peter Watts just didn't do it for me. Perhaps it was the flat characters. Or the proliferation of dialog with little descriptive text or explanation as to what's going on. Or maybe it was the droll story development. Whatever the case, I didn't get very far in when I started to feel thoroughly unenthused about going on. I've found through personal experience that when I'm not excited about reading a book that it then becomes a chore or requirement that I continue reading. In my younger days I would accept this but soldier on anyway. Nowadays, my time is too valuable; there are too many good books out there to spend time on one I have to force myself to read.
That aside, Starfish was well-written, and I wonder if the author had jumped into the central story (whatever that may be) sooner then maybe I'd be writing this review giving the novel if not a thumbs up, then at least a more thorough review.