Book Review of The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel

About the Book:

Gods vs. Wizards ~ an epic struggle for survival

Bernie fixes broken universes for a living. Unlike other gods, who tend to take a hell-fire-and-brimstone approach to problem-solving, Bernie prefers a more gentle approach.

Bernie’s job is to restore production on the planet Photox, but he soon discovers a world caught up in a civil war. With a hard-to-please boss breathing down his neck and a personal life in desperate need of relationship advice, Bernie’s chances of success are dwindling fast. The gods on Bernie’s world are no help. If he fails to restore production, they will destroy Photox’s entire population.

Bernie is desperate to keep this from happening, even if the murderous wizard causing all the problems is powerful enough to hurt a god…

My Thoughts:

 In this next book of ‘The Universe Builders’, Bernie now has a job and he is working on creating universes to please their customers. This book takes off from where the last left off, with the main characters now out of school and trying to find their footing in the commercial world. It is wonderful to see how the characters have grown and changed. If you have read the previous book(s), you’d understand this. If not, here is a brief idea of the basic plot.

Bernie and his friends are young gods. They have just completed God school where they learnt the art of creating universes, how to create life and how to find out what are the elements that when combined, would sustain life. In this book, Bernie has to restore the production of a particular plant on a planet. When Bernie arrives on the planet, he finds that there is a lot more going on. As he teams up with his friends to try to figure out a solution, he is faced with problems from the people of the planet. This story is also one of discovery and understanding, of strong bonds and friendship and trust. We watch them grow and mature a little, while Bernie’s cloud becomes naughtier by the minute!

A well-written novel, this book proves to be fun to read and is more mature in the nature of the plot as compared to the previous story. There the focus was on introducing the characters and making us familiar with them and the world. Now, it is more focused on the emotional depth of the characters and the plot. The story moves quickly and it is nice to read about a developing relationship between Bernie and Susie, which most of you would have seen coming. An entertaining concept, the author brings out a different perspective on life and creation.

Everyone who enjoys a good read in the fantasy genre would really enjoy this book and the others in the series!

Book Review: Bernie and the Lost Girl by Steve LeBel

About the Book:

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This novella tells of a time when Bernie was twelve years old, and a young goddess was lost.

The gods searched everywhere for her – except the woods.  Readers familiar with Bernie’s world know the gods are terribly afraid to venture there.

Bernie alone was willing to make that search, and, naturally, he sought the help of his two friends, Suzie and Lenny.  So, with no more pre-planning than any other 12-year-olds, they set off on the adventure of their lives.

About the Author:

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How best to describe an author who writes humorous fantasy?

Do we tell of bookshelves full of fantasy, science fiction, and paranormal books, his love of mythology, or the years he spent as dungeon master? Or is it more important to know his favorite player-character was a chaotic-good elven fighter-mage? And what about that stack of old comic books he never seems to get rid of?

There’s a serious side, too. The other half of his bookshelf bulges with titles on management, marketing, computer programming, and financial analysis. What about his years as a hospital president, the many businesses he created, or the time he spent in board rooms? What about his early years counseling drug addicts, or his years as a stock trader?

Is there a pattern to his travels around the world? Why choose places like King Arthur’s Camelot, the Temple of Delphi, Buddha’s Tree of Enlightenment, China’s Forbidden City, or the Great Pyramids of Egypt? What is he seeking?

And what does this have to do with writing good fantasy?

Perhaps it’s this dichotomy within Steve that makes The Universe Builders such a delightful story with such serious undertones.

Book Site:  www.TheUniverseBuilders.com
Email:  Steve@TheUniverseBuilders.com
Facebook Fan Page:  www.facebook.com/SteveLeBel.Author
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SteveLeBel.Author2
Amazon Follow: www.amazon.com/author/stevelebel
Twitter: @SteveLeBel

My Thoughts:

This novella is set in the time before The Universe Builders. In this story, Bernie, our famous and most loved god (those who have previously read The Universe Builders may understand my sentiments) is but a 12 year old boy, still in God school. When a young goddess goes missing, it’s left to Bernie to find and save her.

The story is short and to the point. However, it serves to give us an insight into the world and characters, making it easier to understand how Bernie, Suzie and Lenny end up as friends. A lot of the character and people dynamics is well explained. Those who have already read the main story will know that the woods are a place where no Gods dare venture. Bernie has spent many a days exploring some of it and thus knows that area better than most. When he offers to help, it is turned down and a dejected Bernie decides to take matters into his own hands. Accompanied by his soon to be best friends, he sets out on a mini adventure, all the time trying to control his mischievous cloud.

This is a wonderful short story and can be read before or after The Universe Builders. The order will not matter much, but this novella does lend some clarity to the world and people Steve has created. As usual Bernie’s adventure and the trials the face on the journey are fun to read about.