Author: Steve LeBel
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publication Date: June 15, 2017
Description (from Goodreads)
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…
All books in The Universe Builders series are standalone and can be read in any order. The first book, Bernie and the Putty, won 16 national and international awards for excellence.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free advanced review copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I had read Bernie and the Putty and Bernie and the Lost Girl and I’ve been patiently waiting for this book to be ready.
I love the world that Steve LeBel has created in which gods create universes. Unfortunately, most of the gods believe that their creations have no feelings so they have no qualms about destroying a universe if it didn’t turn out the way they wanted. Bernie believes that all life forms, especially higher life forms that have intelligence, should be preserved if at all possible. He suspects that they may even have souls. This is causing Bernie problems in his new job in which he is a troubleshooter. His boss is ready to wipe out the farmers on the planet Photox that Bernie is working on but Bernie is working hard to save them. With a final deadline approaching, Bernie is running out of time.
The characters are well developed and have mostly human characteristics. Bernie, the main character, is a young god, famous because of winning an award for a universe he created. His best friends are Suzie and Lenny and they try to help him figure out ways to save Photox.
I like Steve LeBel’s writing style. He brings the characters and the planets alive. I’m sure Bernie and the Wizards will be winning awards like Bernie and the Putty did. Now if I could only fast forward time long enough to grab a copy of Steve’s next book…
Pre-order on Amazon.
About the Author
What is the best way to describe an author who writes humorous fantasy?
Do we tell about 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 / magic user? What about that stack of old comic books he never seems to get rid of?
But there’s a serious side too. The other half of his bookshelf is filled with books on management, marketing, computer programming, and financial analysis? What about his years as a hospital president, or the many businesses he created, his years as a stock trader? What about his early years counseling drug addicts?
Is there a pattern to his travels around the world? Why chose places like King Arthur’s Camelot, the Temple of Delphi, Buddha’s Tree of Enlightenment, China’s Forbidden City, or the Great Pyramid of Egypt? What is it he’s searching for?
And what does any of this have to do with writing a good fantasy book?
Perhaps it’s that mix within Steve that makes The Universe Builders such a delightful story with such serious undertones.
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