I could spend a lot of time breaking apart and analyzing London's choices, conscious or not, regarding how each of these aspects affect the story.
The simple fact is London wrote a book that has a great plot and steady action. Since I have to blog from my iPhone for this book I am going to keep it brief.
The dynamic between Syd and Knox is really the backbone of the story. They are almost always polar opposites in every aspect and it makes for a great launch pad for the world and the conflict. Everything is built around this relationship between Knox and Syd, patron and proxy, and everything comes down to that relationship in the end. London does such a great job of developing these two and their relationship that just about any reader is going to be surprised by the ending.