• Jake's Magical Market

  • By: J.R. Mathews
  • Narrated by: Travis Baldree
  • Length: 20 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (4,392 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Meddling gods. A magical card system. An apocalypse no one could have predicted.

Jake is working at the neighborhood market under his apartment when the world ends. He expected nuclear war, a computer virus, or even climate change burning everyone to a crisp to bring about the downfall of civilization. But cruel and arbitrary gods from another world? Who would have guessed that?

When these cruel gods shuffled Earth like a deck of cards, nothing was in the same place anymore. Monsters, dungeons, and magical items appear scattered across the globe. And suddenly, everyone has access to a new, strange magical card system that gives them magical powers.

Jake, wasting his day slacking off in the cooler, as he usually did, found himself alone in a completely new and very dangerous world. Can he learn to survive? Can he collect enough cards and create a good enough deck to fight back against the monsters that have overtaken his former home? And why are these strange people that look a lot like elves knocking on the door of the market he is hiding in and asking to buy some of his goods?

The gods may have stacked the deck against him, but Jake just might have a few cards up his sleeve that will help him survive.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 J.R. Mathews (P)2022 Royal Guard Publishing

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What listeners say about Jake's Magical Market

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Lots of 5 star reviews

Stop looking for bad reviews.
Normally that is I bad sign and something weird is happening. Most of the time the book isn't that good.
This book is.
If you like litrpg books this book has everything you might want. Good progression, the main character isn't instantly the strongest person in the room everywhere he goes, good writing, fighting, emotion.
This is up there in quality with wandering inn.
5 stars. (I only gave it 4 so that you stop scrolling down)

56 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great progression story

pros:
The story mixes several types of progression stories loosely around the MC. (done very well)
the characters are very well thought out and each have their own character development which is often ignored in this genre.
The no harem or eternal virgin story fluff.

cons:
The story moves away from the market almost entirely other than it being a Place the MC wants to return to.
This is not a story of the progression of a market in another world from a shack to a multinational conglomerate as I was desperately hoping for.

52 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It's like a video game cutscene.

You know those games where you absolutely body the boss, then it cuts to black and your party is unconscious on the ground? That's this story. The author makes his character so ungodly overpowered right off the bat that the only real way for him to lose is author fiat. Phrases like, 'I tried to use my ability but before I could I got jumped by four people who beat the crap out of me!' Our guy has like fifteen different ways to get out of any bad situation but never gets to because the author just writes that he doesn't. There's suspension of disbelief, and then there is this story.

I finally got fed up with it when the mc got caught by a trap that he was explicitly warned against, and explicitly trained to deal with. We spent several chapters with him being trained to deal with pretty much the exact situation he was faced with. So, what happens?

Do we get a big payoff from his training and supposed preparation? No. We get like three sentences. Despite the fact that he literally sees them coming ahead of time and has the ability to just leave with his insanely op abilities, we are told: trap goes off, mc gets jumped, mc is knocked unconscious. That's basically the level of detail we are given for this incredibly important event that greatly impacts the story.

I was completely stunned when this happened but I figured, fine. He gets punished for being overconfident. An idiot child could have gotten away from the trap given the insane abilities he had, but fine. Then we get days of him being injured and kidnapped, and just conveniently forgetting he has a healing spell.

You know, the spell that he uses constantly to mend his clothes, clean himself up, grow his crops and even freaking wake up in the morning! It's like the author just decided to give his character brain worms.

I'm also pretty sure the author forgot about several abilities he gave his own character. That's somewhat understandable given the sheer number of powers the mc collects. Less understandable is that he forgets an aspect of the mc's PRIMARY COMBAT ABILITY. The thing he spams every single fight! He just forgets that the mc can use it to aoe himself, something he does a few times after receiving the upgrade, and then basically never again. I had to listen to thirty minutes of the main character whining that a blindfold made it impossible for him to use his abilities, because they all required sight and a target. It almost gave me an aneurysm from sheer frustration.

Naturally, the mc committing these 'mistakes' leads to him getting yet another power up. Hooray! How convenient!

These complaints are made all the more maddening by the magic system and world, both of which I found genuinely interesting. The narrator did a great job, and most of the characters are serviceable, if not particularly interesting. This is honestly a decent enough story if you just want to turn your brain off. Unfortunately, deus ex bullcrap and author enforced stupidity really spoiled it for me.

Please keep in mind this review is just one person's opinion. It's entirely possible that I am just too picky about character decisions. All I can say is that I was genuinely enjoying this story for quite a while, but the longer it went, the more frustrated I became. It just felt like plot convenience took priority over previously demonstrated competence.

42 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Jake... from State Farm

Amazing book. It hit all the marks I like to see in a good LitRPG or Gamelit title. Relatable MC. Cool magic system. Some good humor. No harems. Awesome first title by this author.

Travis Baldree also narrates this like a rockstar. I loved hearing one of the characters being read in Yerein's voice.

My only complaint about this book is that the MC's name is Jake, his name is said quite often and everytime it was said, I mentally continued "from State Farm" in my head.

20 people found this helpful

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Don't let the cover art dissuade you

I nearly didn't get this because the cover art seemed "kidish". Do not let the cover dissuade you. the story, characters, and theme are great.

20 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly funny

This book caught me off guard it had no reviews and just came out being the author's first book he did an amazing job to create a world into characters that have real problems and find real solutions the story full of humor and funny moments that will catch you off guard I do highly recommend reading this book.

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Took a chance and don't regret it at all.

Refreshingly unique, solid writing, with great reading.
Not done yet, but happily binging.
Well done!

12 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It was great...

It was so good I was enjoying it until like there was about 1/3 left. After that it completely went off the rails it became annoying and frustrating that ending was just...wow I don't even have words to just how it was.

8 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Gets worse as it goes on

My dislike for the protagonist aside, this story got less interesting the longer it went on. Ballooning so far out in scope that I was just in a perpetual state of eye rolling.

i don't care for stories with such a huge scope especially when they're rushed and unearned.

This is that.

Having said that, this story has one of the coolest implementations of magic I've ever read. Naturally, it's almost immediately abandoned for a far less interesting one which ties into my main reason for ultimately disliking this book.

YMMV

8 people found this helpful

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Great Magic Apocalypse Book!

This book is essentially 2 books in one: The first intro to the story book and discover new powers, then the turn everything on its head with a combination of rash decisions and insane power creep (with enemies being stronger as well). Overall, I really enjoyed the book and found it very difficult to put down. It does a good job of being unique in a genre that's pretty saturated at the moment.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan Pascall
  • 01-13-22

A tale of two halves.

I feel a little confused over my feeling for this book. My reason is simply this, I loved it while it involved Jake and his Magical Market but that's barely half the book.

Let me say before I decide on my final feelings that this is a good book. It is well written, hunerous at times, exciting at others and (mostly) full of very interesting characters. The narration too is excellent, with great voices for all manner of beings and full of emotion and at no point did I find Travis' work anything but exemplary.

My issue is that after a few hours of setting the scene and creating the Market, the tale takes us away from that place and we meet a new cast. We then spend time with them and Again move on to meet another new cast before (you get the point). I just felt bored in the end as, any new group of characters we met, I basically expected to leave soon and so had no desire or care for them, making the hours we spent with them unsatisfying.

So I guess my feelings are this; the book either needed to be several hours Longer, to take us full circle Or several hours shorter to avoid the drag.

As it stands, with no book 2 to continue the story, I found this ultimately extremely unsatisfying and disappointing.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 12-04-21

Good start spoilers

started really well but then throws away its interesting card system, all unique bits and good characters to become a generic and boring cultivation escalation story then does it again twice. getting rid of any investing characters before you get to see much about them

overall act 1 was really good but act 2 was dull for the most part and the end just down right boring for all it tries to blindside you.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M
  • 01-18-22

A great start

This is a very good start to a series that I hope will continue

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • George
  • 01-04-22

Brilliant but could have been better

This book has a great concept and story line, an intricate and novel story line which is quite detailed and thought out. it lacks exploration though. the meat of the book is lacking without pause for explanation. this book class enough content that it could probably be a trilogy if each stage was given more time!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-30-21

Novel concept but poorly executed

I was intrigued for the first few chapters but after a certain point it starts to feel a bit directionless. The audiobook performance was great - with Travis Balrdee doing a good job as always - but the story itself had me scratching my head at points.

You may find something you like with this one - but wasn't my cup of tea.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sam
  • 06-17-22

dedinately worth a listen epic story

got into this slowly but ended up hooked just smashed through it and well written and catches the imagination well very happy with this purchase

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ivar
  • 05-31-22

What a journey!

When you think you know whats going to happen next the author takes a 360 degree turn and dunkes you into another reality !

Great stuff, enjoyed it throughout the whole book ! Recommend

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Liam Wales
  • 05-26-22

Not one story

Fans of LitRPG take note: this is and isn't traditional LitRPG.

it starts with a light amount of crunch with the card system, which returns at intervals through the story. however it branches away from this in some very unexpected ways, almost bordering cultivation novels at times

word of advice is to go into this story with 0 expectations. this isn't just a shop owner sim, it's not just an action novel, and it's not just an apocalypse novel. it's all of those things at different times

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 04-29-22

Absolutely genius!

I loved it! Just brilliant! It felt like something new for me. And it definitely was not what I was expecting, at all.

I can not wait for the next one. Just wow.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Adam Cheung
  • 04-15-22

Brilliant

Really enjoyed the book! The narration was excellent all the way through. One criticism would have to be that the ending felt a little rushed and unsatisfying. However, this didn't detract too much from an excellent story.

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  • The Keyboard
  • 01-25-22

Two books for one? You'll either love or hate it.

This is a great litRPG read. It's well written, entertaining, original and felt realistic (for the fact that it involves magic, monsters and whatever). But... there's a 50:50 chance you're either going to love this book or hate it.

The problem (as mentioned in many other reviews, too) is that this really feels like two books in one. The story takes a sharp right turn at around the half-way mark, developing a new magic system, new setting and darker character arc. While this second arc is just as well written and entertaining as the first half, there's no guarantee that someone who *liked* the first part of the book is going to like the second.

Personally, I loved the first part of the book, didn't mind the second, and actively disliked the last 10%, when the character made a whole heap of decisions that didn't sit right with my moral compass.

Anyway, in terms of the basics
- two distinct magic systems, the first card based, the second cultivation.
- well written, no info dumping.
- MC is occasionally OP and occasionally UP. Both are done really well and usually as set up for something bigger.
- Slice of life storyline, though with some larger goals that the hero works towards slowly.

Travis Baldree as narrator did a decent enough job. Every old person sounds the same, and his female voices aren't too different, but yeah... there was nothing that made me want to put the book down, and the narration also had some nice moments.

So, this book gets a grudging 5 stars. If the book was split into two, each part would get a resounding 5 stars! But put together, the story clashed for me personally. I guess the book is worth a read - it's definitely one of the better litrpg out there - so you can make up your own mind.

If you appreciate this review, please click the 'helpful' button below so it can assist other people too :)

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • UDI
  • 02-15-22

Not worth it

It's a c class lit rpg with no overarching story to speak off. World is wholey unoriginal and possesses almost no worthwhile elements to keep you hooked. Basically it's extremely boring.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-16-21

it's great and different from Similar books

it doesn't get bogged down In repeating stat's like all the other litRPG. It's more about Jake's Adventure and how he progress as a person

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ric
  • 05-26-22

Pointless & unnecessary swearing

This was a good story (the first half better than the second) and a slightly different & interesting take on the LitRPG genre. The narration was pleasant in tone and quite good in characterisation (although female voices are always done fairly poorly by male narrators).
However there is considerable profanity which is completely unnecessary especially when it is obviously aimed at a young adult audience. It would be a great story that I would love to listen to with my kids but the language prohibits that pleasure. Why authors use this type of language in fantasy novels and young adult fiction is beyond me.

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  • Oliver
  • 05-18-22

An easy listen.

Travis Baldree does a great job of narrating and will forever be the voice of Jake. It's an easy listen and takes minimal effort to follow the story, but is also well written enough to keep your attention. There is a section in the middle of the book that is a bit long-winded but overall I highly recommend this book to fans of the genre.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-26-22

Nice one

Really nice adventure book. Unusual genre, but got used to the idea after a few chapters. Liked the development of the plot and unexpected ending. Performance was really great! A few nuances that I didn't like is lots of swearing especially in the beginning of the book. And I found book cover a bit misleading. Thought it would be suitable for children - turns out - not for young audience.

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  • stefan redwood
  • 04-06-22

awesome

this is one of the best litrpg books I have listened to. good twist at the end with a very interested system for the abilitys. looking forward to book 2

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • stephanie d.
  • 03-30-22

Great Start....

I was so here for this book at the beginning. I was literally laughing out loud and then it just kept pinwheeling out of control faster and faster. The main character just jumps rapidly from one power to the next making him more and more powerful until he's literally a god. The contents of this book (2 books) could have been spread out and explored over several. I just find myself rolling my eyes more and more at the end.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tim moss
  • 03-12-22

highly enjoyable

loved it. different kind of story, great characters. wonderful worlds created by the author. needs another book in the series!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-22

Why is it always the end?

Part 1 I loved very much.
part 2 had what felt like a good arc but the narrative did a lot to emphasise how important his friendships had become and yet we didn't get to see them. i felt like the author did too much to set up for another book and not enough to finalise the main ark.
I'm cool with power creep but especially right at the end I got the impression our character could finish his goal at will, having circumvented his most recent obstacle. Could have done it with the same tools he'd just used.