Book of Earth is the fifth book of the Diadem series written by John Peel. Score is afflicted with some sort of magical illness that is draining away his strength. With the help of the wizard Shanara and the familiar Blink, Helaine and Pixel track down the root of the magical attack and find that it’s originating from Earth. All three of the teenage wizards travel to Earth to track down the errant attacker and save Score’s life.
There’s a lot going on in this short book. Throwing a wrench into the story is Score’s father, Bad Tony, who has escaped from prison and is waiting for the trio on their arrival. There’s also run ins with the New York City Police, the Empire State Building, mobsters, and of course, magic—albeit weaker magic, since Earth is on the outer rim of the Diadem, thus lacking in magic.
This volume is the weakest of the books so far, mostly because technologies easily date a book. The setting of Earth is familiar to the reader, and so it becomes more difficult to make the setting timeless and up-to-date. There’s also some police procedure issues (such as why the police would arrest these juveniles, throw them into general lock-up, and not immediate call social services). Bringing a fantasy element into New York City just didn’t work out that well.
However, once you get passed these minor hiccups, the story is still good. There’s an air of suspense that’s more present in this book than in previous volumes, which will keep the attention of young readers. Overall, it makes a good addition to the series itself.