Monday, October 1, 2018

ARC Review: Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut

Del Toro Moon
Author: Darby Karchut, Risa Rodil (Illustrator)
Publication: Owl Hollow Press, LLC (October 2, 2018)

Description: Ride hard, swing hard, and take out as many of those creepy critters as you can.

Twelve year old Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in his family's centuries-old business: riding down and destroying wolf-like monsters, known as skinners.

Now, with those creatures multiplying, both in number and ferocity, Matt must saddle up and match his father's skills at monster whacking. Odds of doing that? Yeah, about a trillion to one. Because Matt's father is the legendary Javier Del Toro--hunter, scholar, and a true caballero: a gentleman of the horse.

Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend--El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains. Serious horse power. Those skinners don't stand a chance.

My Thoughts: Karchut ventures into a new mythology in this new middle grade novel. Matt is the descendant of one of the caballeros sent from Spain in the 1600s with chests of monsters to disperse through the New World and then keep them from causing trouble. They didn't come alone. They brought along companions - Andalusian horses with the ability to speak.

Matt is twelve and just going on his first hunt for the "skinners" his family hunts. He's nervous and frightened that he's going to mess up but his friend El Cid is there with him. El Cid is getting older which worries Matt but he is still a source of wisdom and unquestioning love. Matt has an older brother named Ben who is constantly fighting with their father Javier which is a real source of stress for Matt. His mother died in a car accident when he was so young that he barely remembers her.

This book deals with paleontologists who want to hunt for dinosaurs in the area where Matt and his family hunt for skinners. One of the paleontologists went to high school with Matt's father. Her daughter Perry becomes Matt's first crush. Javier tries to convince them that the area is dangerous but is unsuccessful convincing the arrogant expedition leader.

This was a nice story. I enjoyed the new beginning romance with Perry. I enjoyed all the action and danger as they fought the skinners. I was heartbroken, along with Matt, when he had to face another loss. One niggle I had concerned the talking horses. I can't see how they could articulate speech given their mouth and tongue structures. Yes, I know, magic -- but it did make me wonder.

Fans of middle grade adventure with monsters will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
My brother's face flushed with pride. He shrugged. "Just doing what you taught me, Pop," he said, eyes locking on Izzie's ears. The faint smile stayed on his face. It matched the one on Dad's.

Man, I'd go up against a pack of skinners. By myself. In the dark. Without a mace. Every day. Just for that.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from the author. You can buy your copy here.


  1. Thank you, Kathy, for your review. I, too, am in awe of your reading chops! It's your super power.

  2. This looks really fun. I'm suddenly wishing I had a niece/nephew of the right age for it. (Doesn't mean I won't seek it out to enjoy. ;) )


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