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In This Iron Ground

(Natural Magic #1)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Damien is nine years old when his parents die. What should have been the worst moment of his life begins a journey shadowed by loneliness and pain. The night of a full moon, four years and seven foster homes later, Damien flees to the forest, desperate to escape everything.

Instead, he finds the Salgado pack, and the earth beneath his feet shifts. Damien has seen the Salg
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 325 pages
Published September 3rd 2018
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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  294 ratings  ·  75 reviews

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Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first book from this author and it took me a while to become used to their style of writing but, once I did, I found this book to be absolutely charming - even with the horrible way Damien was treated by his foster carers.

There is a trigger warning which needs heeding, there is awful behaviour towards a child expressed as a vitally important part of the narrative but it's not gratuitous and it's not sexual or overtly physical.

However, the rest of the book is a
Elise ✘ a.k.a Ryder's Pet ✘
⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱*Part One Was So Good*⋰⋱⋰⋱⋰⋱

*BE AWARE, CAN CONTAIN SPOILERS* This is a beautiful, heartbreaking and painful story about finding yourself and a family you belong to. It's so well written that you can feel the pain of the character and I found myself wiping away tears more than once. The book starts when Damien Henson is 13 years old, 4 years since he lost his parents and 7 foster homes later. This is the start of a sad and strong journey where we follow him until he's 19. We get to see him heal, fall, break and get up again*BE
It was the most emotional story I've read in a very long time. If you're looking for a shifter story, don't bother with this one. It's the emotional story of a little boy who lost it all. A little boy who fell victim to our less than perfect foster care system before finding his forever home. It was a long, painful journey to that hard won HEA.
DNF at 35%

Textbook case of “it’s me, not the book”.

Even after reading the blurb and content warning, I wasn’t ready for this book. I expected things to get a little heavy, but I hadn’t planned for so much focus on the psychological aspects and so little on the paranormal side.
Even considering the chance that that’s going to change in the remaining 65%, I’ve lost any interest in going forward with this story, what I’ve read so far already stretched my tolerance to the limit.
I’ve always
*4.5 stars*

"In this Iron Ground" was a big surprise for me. I've already read two other books by this author and I can't say that I loved them. She has a unique writing style, but that wasn't the problem for me, I actually got used to it and liked it quite a bit. My issue with those other books was the storyline that was flat and a lot of the time seemed like it was going nowhere.

This book though! I absolutely loved this book! I can see how Marina Vivancos has grown as a writer, how much more structu/>"In
I've never read Marina Vivancos before but this book's blurb sounded like something I'd enjoy - psychological and paranormal. Two things that tick big boxes for me. I also happen to like lyrical writing, a touch of quirky, a dab of magic realism in the narrative - plenty of ticks. I'm not so fond of coming of age books and younger MCs. This book covers six years from when Damien Henson is thirteen until he is nineteen - not always my kind of reading but I was prepared to see how it would pan out ...more
Oh my shit...this book...this book experience.
I'm not sure how to rate it?? Perhaps I won't?!?
At times, I struggled and nearly gave up.
Other times, I was so captivated I couldn't put it down. Which as it turned out, I didn't and devoured it within 24 hours.
In the end, I was exhausted and grateful that I pushed through.

First thing first....the child abuse.
*balls hands into fists*
I was SO upset. I hated those sorry excuses of humans. The abuse that Damien suffered was brutfirst....the
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a very good book. It's true that it seemed to have a storyteller narrative but I found it engaging. The critical reviews that mention how much this doesn't sound like the voice of a 13 y/0 boy aren't off the mark but I liked this reading experience. The storyteller is very good. This was descriptive prose that reminded me of Roan Parish and the scope of the plot reminded me of Wolfsong by TJ Klune but without the supernatural evil trying to take over the world. There are a few writing q ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Is it a romance? Not really. There is a romance late in the book and it's necessary for the story but it's not at the core of it. So is it a shifter adventure? Again: not really. Most of the supporting characters are werewolves but I never read a paranormal book where werewolves have to be a secret and at the same time are interwoven without further ado. The paranormal part was nice but the story would work the same without it. Which is a bit a pity because there is an attempt to create this
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is why I so enjoy reading challenges. Because every now and then you have to pick a book off a list called "Best M/M Romance Cover Ever" or whatever, and you just kinda grab one at random. Most of the time the results are kind of meh but sometimes you run across an absolute gem. Like this one!

This book is definitely more about Damien than it is about Damien&Hakan. It's approximately 75% growth and change and coming of age, and approximately 25% romance. There's no quick-fix, and it
Joyfully Jay
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.25 stars

This book was a lot of things. Some of it worked for me and some not as much, but at the end, I was left with an overall disjointed feeling. The book starts when Damien is nine and his parents have died. He is harshly put into the foster care system and none of his caregivers have any interest in truly helping him and the psychological abuse starts. When he is brought to the McKenzie’s home, the physical abuse starts as well as they think the best way to control
Erica Chilson
I received a copy of this title to read and review for Wicked Reads

3 Stars. No matter the depth of the content, I cannot hand out a glowing rating due to how the information was delivered, finding the story difficult to connect to due to the execution.

I need to preface this review by stating the writing style wasn’t a style I was accustomed to enjoy or find entertaining. Written with purple prose, I found it difficult to fall into the storyline due to the fact that no 13-year-old child t
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shuffled around and unloved for years after his parents' tragic death, Damian despairs of ever having a family, acceptance, and comfort living in his own skin. Until he meets the Salgado family. As he slowly finds friendship in this loud, large, and loving family he starts to see that he could actually be helpful to them. He longs for complete acceptance into their family but knows he'll never be worthy of it. He's resigned and determined to keep his true feelings for the Salgados, and especiall ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My 1at Read by this Author but not my last.

My first time reading this author but defiantly not my last. This book was well written and very compelling. I was in Damien's mind. I felt his fears. He was real. This is unlike any other shifter story that I have read and I have read many. I rank this book up there with Always, The Locker Room, Red Dirt Diaries and other six plus star reads.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How do I even begin to describe this book? I started crying from the minute I started reading and don't think I stopped til the end. Some we're tears of joy, but most were not. This is a tough book. I think it reminds me some of my own past. But this book is incredible. It's a life lesson through abuse, to a real family, to hope, to love. To escaping one's fears, overcoming the dark thoughts and the negativity. And to knowing through everything, you are worthy.

Damien has had the roug
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm, fantasy-read-2018
One of the best stories read this year. Damien had me feeling so much through his coming of age and it left me smiling after the tears (cathartic tears!) - emotionally it would probably fall under hurt/comfort, with the emotional pay off at the end hitting me right in the feels.

Also, the pieces we get to see of the Salgado family and it's pack dynamics just felt very real - it wasn't just werewolves, oh my! But rather, werewolf culture and found family. There were so many facets of t
Sep 05, 2018 rated it liked it
There were some things I really liked about his book, and some things that fell flat to me. I liked that Damien's past was full of feels. He goes through quite a lot of emotional abuse--and some physical abuse as well--and that leaves him with baggage that drives parts of the novel forward. I also liked the diversity aspect; having non-caucasian characters in MM expands the genre and keeps it from stagnating, and I love seeing it. The 'reality of shifters' isn't really a focus of this book, with ...more
Becky Baldridge
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one is a bit different than the usual shifter romance. The shifters are there along with the pack mentality, scent marking, full and half shifts, etc. But the story is more about Damien, who is orphaned at nine and is then put into the foster care system where his experiences are anything but pleasant. Parts of his story were truly heartbreaking, and I'll admit that I spent a fair amount of the beginning of this story wondering where it was going. Nevertheless, it is a compelling story and ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, m-m
This is a good example of how a great book can still disappoint when you have the wrong expectations. I saw this recced somewhere as an m/m romance, but while this is a very well written book, it is not a romance novel. I’d call it YA/NA that both deals with child abuse, overcoming trauma and has an original take on shifters. Yes, there is m/m content, but it really doesn’t read like a romance. I kind of had to push myself to finish it - it was good enough for me to want to do that, but it still ...more
cupcakes and bookshelves
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was such a great book, I love books like this and it delivered on the emotion and intensity as I excepted. A book full of feels, psychological and the paranormal, I just wanted more and the ending just left me just a little deflated. That being said I'd definitely like to read more from this series, this author.
3.5 Stars.

*Copy kindly given in exchange for an honest review, thank you so much.*
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mm
You know a book is GOOD when you find yourself staying up reading it until 3am even though you have work in the morning, crying real tears as the characters go through all of their trials and hurts. Whew! This was angsty in just the right way with a well deserved HEA. I’m emotionally exhausted after that rollercoaster of feels, but in a good way. 😌
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great story about a boy that was taken in by werewolves. It had some things in the book that I didn't really like. There were a couple of sentences that had me a bit unnerved, and I hate when children are abused. I tried to overlook both of these in the interest of finishing a book that was really good. They were the reasons that I marked it down one star though, more the sentences than the abuse. I realize that abuse played a major part to the plot and knew
4.5 out of 5 stars

Description ~

Damien is nine years old when his parents die. What should have been the worst moment of his life begins a journey shadowed by loneliness and pain. The night of a full moon, four years and seven foster homes later, Damien flees to the forest, desperate to escape everything.

Instead, he finds the Salgado pack, and the earth beneath his feet shifts. Damien has seen the Salgado children in his school: Koko, who is in his class, and Hakan, two years older and i/>
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone older than 16/18
Shelves: favorites
A masterpiece. This is one of those books were you realize: this is why I read, this is what I am looking for in a book.

The expectations with which I opened this book were, honestly, a capital insult to what it turned out to be. It helped. I was not on my guard, trying so hard to enjoy it, just got swept away naturally.

( I am just now getting a little paranoid what else could I have missed, since choosing this book was like "alright, you are not that pretty or sound that
Natosha Wilson
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I had to come back to a couple of times in order to actually read it. I am not saying that it was a bad read or anything but it is one of those books that is very slow to get to the point of where the book is heading. That is part of the reason that I had to come back to this book. The other part is it broke my heart the way one of the main characters was treated and the details of that treatment was hard to read. It was not written in a way that it was a memory o ...more
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bbj, arc
5 stars

In This Iron Ground is a book by Marina Vivancos, known for her Fox Lake series. This book is about a boy who loses his parents and moves from foster home to foster home until ending up with a semi-abusive family. One night he runs in the forest and meets a wolf who turns into a woman. She brings him home explains what shifters are and sends him back home. After that, he is sort of adopted into the family of wold shifters.

Damien is the main character. In the beginn
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
In most books when you read about someone’s difficult past as a child, it is usually talk about in general terms, maybe with some supporting details. In some cases maybe graphic or disturbing details when an author is going for a certain effect.  Here, the author puts you in his head so you can feel his fear and upset to the point where you can feel your heart crack in two from the pain. If you’re like me, you probably will develop a lot of animosity towards his foster carers; the contrast betwe ...more
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

i love marina vivancos' books. the writing style is beautiful and the characters fill me with emotion. this book is no exception. i was worried about how the whole abuse element would work for me but i found that it was very well done. i saw myself 100% in the thoughts and feeling damien had. it was all very realistic to me. also i thought it was kind of funny that this book actually helped me understand something my therapist has been trying to help me with for months so th
Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)
Oct 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, paranormal, romance
In This Iron Ground is an amazing story, that introduces you to Damien. He is a foster child as his parents died in a car crash. He is in the system, and unfortunately has the moniker of 'problem child'. The best thing that happens to him is he meets the Salgado's, and is introduced to a world he never knew existed.

This is a fantastic story, that draws you in, and makes you feel. I was crying for Damien, for how he felt, for what he went through. I love it when an author draws you in
Jaimee Ghost
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a beautiful story. Quite the tear-jerker. I was in the mood for adventure with a nice helping of ANGST and some sexual tension, maybe a few wolves or other paranormals here or there and then some hawt sexuals.

That is not what I got. But I loved it!

Here we have a beautiful coming of age tale that homestly reminds me very much of Wolfsong by TJ Klune and fans of that who are looking for something SIMILAR but not the exact same will sink their teeth into this. The first
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