Go study what pacing means.
Almost the entire first part is a gay man philosophizing from a wheelchair.
Admittedly the violence level does drop off a BIT after Eliah gets out of the jungle, but not that much.
Huge, huge amounts of character development take place. Violence and awesome fights are great and all, but they're really just eye candy unless you understand and relate to the characters.
Besides, Eliah/Helena is one of the best tragic romances ever.