Recently I picked up a mid-series novel (which was not written by anyone who visits here, but we'll let the author remain nameless anyway) that I was pretty interested in reading from a technical standpoint. Often I like to see how other writers handle some problems that are inherent to writing series stories. This one did an okay job with the problem in question; a little on the soft-serv side but not anything that chased me out of the book.
There was one thing the author did have in the story that just about drove crazy me, however: a character with a noun name.
Using a random noun to name a character in a story is a tricky business for a bunch of reasons. Prevalence of use is the first hmmmm on my list; since we got over the sixties there just aren't that many people walking around with names like Dancer, Starlight, Saffron or Journey. Of course noun names make terrific nicknames, and as such I use them all the time, but as proper names? No.
Then there is reader reaction, which can't always be predicted or anticipated. The noun name in this case happened to be something that I personally intensely dislike, so you can understand why I wanted this otherwise very nice character dead by page ten. You can't assume that everyone is going to share your enthusiasm for any noun names you use in a story.
If you are determined to use a noun name, consider having it fit the story as well as the character. A cowboy in a romance named Nevada or Buck would not be as glaring or jarring as one named Neptune or Metro. Also, if you don't know what a noun means, look it up. Peyote may sound cool to you, but it's a botanical from which the hallucinogen mescaline is derived. Not really something you'd want to name a DEA agent.
Other things to consider when contemplating the noun name:
Hateful nouns: Of course there is always some dingbat out there who thinks it's funny to name their child Booze, Wifebeater or Zombie. But most parents generally welcome a child into their lives, and choose a name that has both meaning and love attached to it.
Nouns in other languages: be sure you know what that very cool word you spotted during your European vacation translates to in English. This avoids multi-lingual readers being jolted out of a story by characters whose names mean Vomit, Abortion or Toxic Waste.
Pop culture nouns: What is a fad today will be a joke (or worse) tomorrow. Just ask Pop Rocks Smith, Mood Ring Jones and Cabbage Patch Perkins.
Date nouns: Days of the week and months of the year are probably the least offensive noun names, but often they can become visually confusing for the reader, ala On Tuesday Thursday went to the store or "Do you have an opening in July, April?"
If you are determined to use a noun name for your character, first do a search of the noun to see what meanings and connotations are already attached to it. If any celebrities have used it to name their kids that's usually a sign that it's a terrible choice. Another litmus test is to consider if you would use it to name one of your own children in real life. Whatever objections you think up are probably going to be mirrored by at least some of your readers. If you have a trusted writer friend (aka someone who won't steal the name from you) ask them what they think of it.
One final thought: employing noun names for characters is like cooking with cilantro. Don't expect your choice to be popular with everyone; some people will love it, but others will think it tastes like soap.