Del Toro Moon
Author: Darby Karchut
Editor: Owl Hollow Press
Genres: Middle Grade, Adventure
“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.
“Back then, belief in things skewed toward the mythical end of the spectrum was acceptable. Somewhat. But with each new generation, humans find it harder to believe.””I frowned.”Believe in monsters, you mean?””And in heroes.”
At first, I was captured by the cover, and I realize only after reading the first pages why: it’s realized by the talented Risa Rodil.
Isn’t a beatiful cover? I like it so much!
Do you know what I love in a book? Talking animals, maybe a little sassy too, and friendship between humans and animals. And nerd quotes.
I must confess I wasn’t very interested for the first 2/3 chapters. We are transported directly in the plot, without a lot of informations. Then suddenly we read of this amazing friendship between caballeros and war-horses, expecially between Matt and El Cid.
So, everytime El Cid speak, I fell in love more and more with the characters and the story.
Del Toro Moon is a middle grade story with a lot of adventures, a touch of history and myth, friendship and family relations, a main character who has flaws and fears, who is actually a nerd (there are a lot of LOTR quotes and reference) and a little touch of horror, thanks to the skinners.
The setting is very captivating, with a lot of descriptions, but in the beginning I mistaken the time setting: I was convinced it was set during the “Far West/Gold rush” period, until I found out the first LOTR reference.
The characters are well done: the horses are wise and sassy, protective and so brave; Javier has done a great job with his sons; Matt is so cute, he’s my favourite along with El Cid. I must advise you that at one point during my reading I was crying. Prepare yourself.
The ending is all right, but now I want another book, maybe a prequel with the family’s centuries-old business and the ancestor of Matt; and a sequel too, with Matt and another character I can’t tell you without spoiler!
Thanks to Netgalley and Owl Hollow Press for this book. I received for free in exchange of a honest review.