Nazgus, regarding your first spoilered point, it was also one of the things that made me stop reading the story. It is part of the overall problem of Ack's writing, the characterisation and how the immediate plot is shaped around them, a problem in all his stories to some degree. A strong protagonist bias/plot armor without the restraint to make it feel plausible, where the character get away with way too much, and succeed where they shouldn't. The chararacters always feel kinda self congratulatory, when they feel in the right (which is always) and when they succeed (success in inevitable, in the end), and sometimes comes across as almost unbearable smug to me. It's why I stopped reading Security. Just one fist-bump too many from some middle aged fat guy that would have made the average teenager roll their eyes and think 'adults are lame'.