[2] Jake's Magical Market 2꞉ A Trek Through Time

Jake’s Magical Market 2

A Trek Through Time

Read Time: 3 Minutes

Certainly a long time coming, but I was super excited to see the notification from Audible appear in my inbox, telling me book two of Jake’s Magical Market was available for pre-order. It took little thought on my part, and soon I was twiddling my thumbs while I waited.

Book two, unsurprisingly, carries on directly from the events of book one. Knowing this was coming, I went back and listened to the first book to reacquaint myself with the story since it had been a long time since I’d last listened. I’d recommend revisiting book one if you haven’t already; it’s definitely worth another listen.

This book starts with an apology by the author that he couldn’t secure the original narrator to continue the series. Travis Baldree, one of the most popular narrators out there, was booked solid for the next few years so, the author explains, the decision was made to find a new narrator, so we didn’t have to wait.

The new narrator, John Pirhalla, did a bang-up job of picking up the series. He didn’t try to impersonate Baldree, but the flavour of the story and characters was still there. Thinking back, the fact that all the side characters from the first were not in this probably helped. Besides getting used to a slightly different Jake, the other characters were all new.

Jake is now trapped far back in time, back when the new gods were on the cusp of killing the old gods and taking the power for themselves. This would eventually lead to the card system and Jake’s world being destroyed.

Now with god-like powers of his own, Jake needs to survive long enough to work out how all his new powers work. If he could just stop being killed, that’d be a good start.

This new story explores the cultivation side of power, which is a genre in its own right. JR Mathews blends this new idea of gaining power with the existing card system well, leading to some interesting discoveries for Jake.

What I like about this series is that it doesn’t get too bogged down in any one particular thing. Unlike book one, which went from Earth to Ambrosia to other worlds as Jake bounced around getting stronger and learning new powers, this book stayed mostly in the same place.

There was a lot going on, though, and enough side-quests and do-overs to keep things moving forwards. The ‘magical market’ concept, while central to the series’ premise, takes a backseat in this installment, diverging significantly from its initial focus on Jake’s shop selling magical goods.

Jake continues to grow as a character. Having a few do-overs helps here, but also humbles him somewhat. Trying to tread the line between knowing what comes next versus not using it to become a creep or weirdo and being self-aware enough to acknowledge that.

There’s some selling of magical cards in this one, but not enough to really latch onto the market idea. I get it, that the plot moves on, but at this point the title is really misleading.

Still a great series though! Extremely enjoyable and one that kept me up way past when I should have been asleep. So overall, a very satisfying follow-up to the first. As soon as book three is available, I’ll be getting that, too!


Adventure, Time Travel, Gamelit, Sword & Sorcery, Male Narrator
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