The Thorn has been hassling the local drug kingpin, and the kingpin is Not Stupid [tm]. He brought in assassins, laid lovely traps, and nearly caught and killed the Thorn. Point to him.
The Thorn has friends and enemies among the street gangs, and more friends (and fewer enemies) in college, so point to him, he doesn’t have to do all the thinking on his own. Major point to him, because The Girlfriend has a pretty major part in this book. And shows that she’s pretty darn smart, and also well (self) educated, if the wrong skin color to be allowed to actually attend class.
(Bechtel test… there are more than 2 named women in the book, but do they ever meet? blink and you miss it.)
Will Thorn win against the assassins and save the day? Duh, yes. But how? Keep reading!
Will The Girlfriend be allowed to attend college next book? I dunno, I can’t wait to find out.