I'll take any comparison with Iain Banks, even a negative one, so thanks for that.
In my own defence, Meddlers isn't really a time travel novel, though I'll agree that's probably splitting hairs.
I don't know a good answer to the problem of having to explain what is going on in the story. I can't think of anyone who wouldn't want an explanation as soon as possible.
I tried to put in as much stuff to get the reader to buy into the story as possible early on. Sorry it's not working for you, but thanks for taking the time and trouble to read and review.