This isn't perfect (how does a person "shimmy" his eyes???), but it has atmosphere, it is unpredictable, and the characters are growing on me. Also, it got me to look up the Black Renaissance among other things, so yeah. Any book that makes me head to the Interwebs to search gets +1 stars.
(BTW, what was UP with my high school/college history classes that I never learned about the Black Renaissance?!?! COME ON AMERICA!!! This is SO EFFING LAME!!!)