Title: Book of Names
Authors: John Peel
Series: Diadem Worlds of Magic #1
Publication: September 8th 2004 by Llewellyn Publications
Three teenagers from very different worlds–Score, a streetwise New Yorker; Renald, who prepares for a medieval battle; and Pixel, who is confined to the one-room world of Virtual Reality–are kidnapped and plunged into a perilous odyssey as they seek to unlock the secrets of the Diadem.
Book of Names wasn’t a totally bad book to me. There were some parts that I did like but overall it was just okay and nothing more.
Most of the time I was weirdest out by the story. Some really strange things happen in it, like a killer whale jumping out of a river and changing into a man. That was just a little too weird for me. I didn’t think the writing was all that good, either. This book is obviously more for younger readers but usually I can find books like this entertaining. So it’s too bad that it wasn’t the case with this one.
As I said before, some part I did like. One of those parts were the three main characters: Score, Renald and Pixel. They were a great set of characters, with each their own story and world they lived in. Personally, I liked Pixel’s story the most because he came from a virtual reality world. Pretty cool. I also liked the fact that Renald kept her identity as a girl hidden for everyone for a little while. She was definitely a feisty character!
If it wasn’t for the writing style that was only so-so and the mediocre dialogue, I think I would’ve liked this book a lot more. Also, the villain wasn’t as hateful as I like my bad guys to be. He, also was so-so.
There is talk about a more mysterious villain, but although there was some talk about him, he didn’t make a real appearance. I’m guessing that will be for the next book, with how the story ended.
All in all, Book of Names was tolerable. I didn’t completely hate it but I obviously didn’t love it either. It definitely had some promise but to me it wasn’t enough.
John Peel is the author of Doctor Who books and comic strips. Notably, he wrote the first original Doctor Who novel, Timewyrm: Genesys, to launch the Virgin New Adventures line. In the early 1990s he was commissioned by Target Books to write novelisations of several key Terry Nation Dalek stories of the 1960s after the rights were finally worked out. He later wrote several more original Daleks novels.
He has the distinction of being one of only three authors credited on a Target novelisation who had not either written a story for the TV series or been a part of the production team (the others were Nigel Robinson and Alison Bingeman).
Outside of Doctor Who, Peel has also written novels for the Star Trek franchise. Under the pseudonym “John Vincent”, he wrote novelisations based upon episodes of the 1990s TV series James Bond Jr.