I have mixed feelings about this book. The setting was awesome. I loved the mermaids and I'm not someone who's usually impressed with mermaids. The whole alternate historic Venice setting was great and so was the Book. I liked the heroine Teo(dora). She has exactly the qualities a lonely, geeky book loving girl appreciates. I kind of like Renzo too. He's cute and funny, if a little too vain (edited, thanks for pointing out my mistake, Luciamaria) at times, but that was funny too. I wish I liked the rest of the book as much. For a children's book this story dealt with rather too dark topics. That's one problem. At the same time, I felt that some of the plot devices were a little too simple, considering what an elaborate setup there was, and again, considering all the very serious topics the story dealt with. I'd say more, but I'd rather avoid spoilers. All I'll say is that I wish that one of my favorite characters had made it to the end of the story, especially since one of my least favorite characters did. Again, I'd rather not say more, but this is to do with the bits I feel are a little too simple. Despite the weaknesses in this story, I would still like to recommend it to anyone who loves books and magic.