The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress Vol 1 Review
The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress Vol 1 is written by SOW (Beelzebub Novels) and was originally published in April 2015. The series is being published digitally in English by BookWalker Global, and is their first exclusive title. The artwork for the novels is done by Zaza.
Synopsis: The war hero known as Silver Wolf, Lud Langart, pilots a humanoid assault weapon while he dreams of life as a baker. With the war over, Lud now peacefully runs his bakery, but thanks to his frightening scowl, he can’t sell a single loaf of bread. After posting an ad for a waitress in a last ditch effort to save his business, who should reply but a beautiful silver-haired, red-eyed young girl. What Lud doesn’t know is that this new waitress was born from Avei, his AI partner installed in the humanoid assault weapon he piloted during the war. (Source: BookWalker)
Review: Based on the title, I was expecting the story to be more lighthearted and comedic. This assumption was quickly proven inaccurate with the Prologue and Introduction focusing more on the history of war and character feelings. There is some more comedy sprinkled throughout the first half of the novel, but in general, the story ends up carrying a more serious tone. The young boy Jacob, Lud’s only friend, convinces him that a cute female helper needs to be hired in order for the bakery to get customers. And who should show up but Sven (who is secretly Lud’s old war partner). The first day she begins working at the Tockerbrot, the store records it’s most customers ever!
As the days continue, the Tockerbrot continues to gain more and more new customers with the help of Sven. We also learn even more so how nice of a person Lud is on the inside, despite his appearance. One a week, he delivers the leftover break to Marlene, a nun who runs a local orphanage at the old church. It is here that we also meet Milly, a young girl who hates Lud and anyone from Wiltia, but whom Lud treats kindly regardless. One of the core principals of this story, is not to judge a book by it’s cover, or in this case, not to judge people based on appearances. Almost all of the characters in The Combat Baker and Automaton Waitress have some sort of hidden “other side” to them. This is what I believe to be the driving force of the story, and what allows both the plot and character development to progress.
The use of this photo is for review purposes only. © SOW, Zaza.
Without spoiling too much, the second half of the volume is where the story starts progressing. It turns out, that there has been an undercover organization in the town, who’s target is the local mine. Of course, it wouldn’t be of much significance if our main characters didn’t end up getting involved. Lud and Sven end up going after said terrorist group, and Lud convinces himself that his war days are behind him. He is only doing this for the benefit of his bakery and the people around him. It is here that the story becomes more science-fiction/action centered, and where we of course reach the climax of volume one.
The story, while slow at the beginning, progresses nicely in the second half and I am interested to see where it goes from here. While Lud develops at a slower pace than the other characters, the cast is still extremely good and has a lot of room for growth. Art-wise, since it is a light novel, there isn’t much of it. Most of the art fits nicely, especially the color pages at the front, but a few illustrations seem overly simplistic. Overall I did enjoy this novel, and the second one should, in my opinion, be better now that we have the introduction out of the way. If you are looking for a cute, but serious war-related series with good characters, I recommend checking this one out.
This book was provided to us free, for review purposes.
If you are interested, this e-book is available for purchase exclusively from BookWalker Global.