Starting Maelstrom

Next book I'm reading is Maelstrom, the second in the "Rifters trilogy". Honestly, I don't have high hopes for me being able to complete this volume, because it's very hard SF. That means lots of science, lots of terminology (although its based in fact), and lots of stuff regarding things I don't understand with a great deal of assumption that I do.

I don't think I'll ever be able to get into hard SF. It doesn't appeal to me. I feel like it's meant for an audience of MIT professors. Most of the required vocab is "external impetus", "vectors", and "Gaussian feedforward algorithm". Plus the fact that it's a sequel to a story that had all this in it in the first place, and I was barely able to hang on. It's not looking good.