The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards

The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards

by Steve LeBel

Paperback

$16.95
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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990883159
Publisher: Argon Press
Publication date: 03/08/2017
Series: Universe Builders , #2
Pages: 354
Sales rank: 368,874
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.79(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

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The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
WhisperingStories More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in the Universe Builders series which the author says should all stand alone. As I have not read the two previous volumes I can vouch for that. Here we have fantasy on a grand scale. Let’s face it, you cannot get any bigger than building universes although Steve LeBel has found a new angle with his stories of gods who work for the “The Business”. I enjoyed his comparisons with today’s current working practices, especially the theory of destroying and replacing rather than repairing something that is not working correctly. The storyline also raised some interesting ethical arguments including ethnic cleansing and what constitutes life. The lead character Bernie comes across as a loveable young boffin; what some might call a nerd. He makes a good hero, prepared to adhere to his principles even though they frequently run counter to his colleagues’ principles. Most of the support characters are similarly believable especially those from Photox. LeBel writes good narrative. He generally keeps the story moving although I felt that it could have worked just as well with one or two of the side stories omitted. Maybe they are necessary to keep the Universe Builders series flowing. There were some romantic episodes which I thought bordered on “cheesy” and I definitely do not want to think about the relationship between Sissy and Zephie. However, I do have an issue with the story and it is one that I personally have with many fantasy books. For any work to be believable I think the reader needs to know what the boundaries are. By definition gods are of course omnipotent but having the knowledge that Bernie could achieve almost everything meant that I was unlikely to be really amazed at the outcome. I therefore found the closing chapters somewhat neat and rather twee. I understand that the first book in this series has won a number of awards so The Universe Builders are clearly making a mark. Personally I am not convinced but, it was a reasonable read with some novel ideas so I have awarded The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards four stars.
JeyranMain More than 1 year ago
Bernie and the Wizards is an epic fantasy novel. This story is written about Bernie. He is a God who fixes universes. He cares about humanity, and Photox is in trouble. While the life of Photox is at stake, Bernie has to stop a monster wizard from causing all the suffering. The Universe Builders – is a selection of fantasy books that also work well as a series. I believe the stories are also available to be read as a stand-alone book, but I have not read them all. This book, specifically, stood out for me as I enjoyed the core emotions Bernie would express. Being a God, it was refreshing to see that he was almost humanized. The other thing that worked really well was the world setting. I think nothing beats a fantasy story that emphasizes on this development. The characters were very appealing, and the plot was described with a picturesque descriptiveness that stood out throughout the work. The one thing that I was not very into was the cover for this book. I have seen the cover used for other books written by the same author, and believe they were chosen better. I recommend this book to fantasy readers.
Docbobm More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. It was not afraid to tackle hard subjects (being abandoned by father, young love, killing when not needed, etc.) but did it in such a way that was not preachy. I do not know if the author is a man of faith, but what he shared shows we have much the same beliefs. Basic story. Bernie is a god on a planet of gods. Not all gods can create worlds, but all can own them. 'The Company' makes worlds for the buyer on demand. The buyer has the people of the world he owns grow crops that he collects and then sells in the world of the gods. One planet is not producing like it should. Bernie is hired to troubleshoot the problem since he has just one a prestigious award which was last won years ago by his now absent father. Bernie is now a celebrity that he did not want to be. Dad returns, people swarm him and he has to focus on fixing a world. How he goes about it is the big part of the story. Bernie's boss wants Bernie to blink the planet's population out of existence, but Bernie feels that each person there is important. Bernie wants to take time to fix it, but there is a mean person stopping the growing going on and the owner is losing money. So how will it end. You will have to get the book, but in the end, it is a satisfying result. This is one of the first young adult book that I have picked up that felt more like what I thought a YA book should be. The writing is fairly clear and there is no sexual innuendo much less sex in it (although there is a kiss or two). In other words, it is safe for all age groups to read. I recommend it for any people who like the category it falls in. What category you ask? Good question, it has a little time travel, a little fantasy, a little coming of age, and I am sure some other areas as well. You might just like it. I own a copy of this book that the author gave out as part of a promotion.
MargieS1 More than 1 year ago
Bernie and the Wizards:(The Universe Builders Book 3) by Steve LeBel is another winner. This is Bernie's third installment and his first assignment after finishing school. Bernie's universe stops functioning like it should and it's up to Bernie to find out why. He does solve the problem only as Bernie can. I love Bernie and I know that this book along with the first two would make a great gift for any young person. I give it 5 stars but wish I could give it many more. I very highly recommend it to all. Ok Bernie, I'm waiting to read about your next adventure.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel is the story of the battle between a God and a magician who has powers that are far more powerful than anyone knew. Bernie is a young God; he is shy, but he knows what he has to do and he will do it at all costs. His job is very simple: fix broken universes and have them up and running for its people to prosper. His life is good, however, his new universe is a challenge. It is in the middle of a civil war where a tyrant magician, Ashok, is hell-bent on ruling that world. Bernie is told by the “upper management” to kill the mad magician, Ashok, and his people; however, Bernie wants a peaceful solution. So he tries to reason with Ashok and have him give up his plan. Bernie tries many times to achieve peace, but all of his reasons and actions fail. This leads his boss to come to a final conclusion: kill everyone and let them start over. Bernie can’t do it, he can’t kill innocent people. However, he has no other option but to kill Ashok and his people. Just when he is getting ready to destroy them, he realizes that Ashok is far more powerful than what he believed before. Can he save the people and destroy the evil Ashok before it is too late? Is there anything more invigorating than mythology? It is very thought provoking and so is The Universe Builders. Steve LeBel created a very beautifully human God whom I simply loved. He is not just a God, but a warrior and a being with a heart. He knows when what he is doing is right or wrong, he knows what his actions will result in. Nothing about this novel is stereotypical. It is a complete mixture of creative genius and witty original writing! Steve LeBel is a very talented writer who wrote a very well researched novel.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Stephen Fisher for Readers' Favorite The Universe Builders: Bernie and The Wizards by Steve LeBel is the long anticipated sequel to Bernie and the Putty. This story picks up one week after Bernie's first world wins the prestigious universe award. Armed with his ingenuity and problem solving skills, Bernie's first assignment is to fix a veteran's world by solving the problem of why the harvesting of the two designated crops that this world has created is at a standstill. After meeting with the world's creator, Bernie decides to drop in amongst the population to gather some information, in the guise of Wedon, an old weary traveler to all but a shaman named Reva. She uses a spell that reveals his true form. Suspecting that Bernie is more than he appears, she hopes that he might offer to help and maybe even do some healing for her villagers. Mr LeBel's writing shifts between Bernie's assignment and his friends, Lenny and Suzie, whom he meets during breaks from work. They also give support by way of advice and tidbits of knowledge that help Bernie to understand things in his assignment. LeBel's characters have a certain quality about them that helps move this story along at a pace that forced this reader to turn each page with bated breath. When Bernie is reunited with his father at a banquet, they are both seated as guests of honor. And the results of meeting an ancient God gives Bernie quite the surprise. Wow ! This character driven book was well worth the wait. Bravo! Encore!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Wizards by Steve LeBel is the third book of The Universe Builders. Bernie has gotten the attention of some powerful and ancient gods following his award for the world he created. Trying to live his life away from the limelight that corrupted his father, he works a job fixing broken universes. Seems easy, right? It's not so easy when the world he needs to fix is in the middle of a civil war. He's told that the only way to stop the violence is to destroy the lives causing it, which goes against everything Bernie believes. Can he find another way to fix this universe before everyone on it is destroyed? Delightful, with a wonderful sense of whimsy, Bernie and the Wizards is great for all ages! This is the third book of the series, but each one can be read alone and is easy to follow. Steve LeBel has a strong voice and a clear humor. Where chaos meets structure, you have the world of Photox, which is in the middle of a civil war, and then the gods' world which is organized and has a very clear system in place. Photox is full of violence, power struggles, grief, and loss, but when Bernie goes to fix it, he gives the people there a real sense of hope. The gods' world is very futuristic in feeling, with meetings, a class system, and degrees that they graduate with to build universes. The gods are ancient and ageless, yet the scenes with Bernie and his friends were innocent, because they felt so young. Bernie getting girl advice from his friend, Lenny, who had been in a relationship for a couple of months was adorable. Then you have the creations Sissy and Zephie who add an interesting blend of precious and all-knowing. I love Bernie and his view on life. He sees every creation as real and just as alive as he is, and I think that's the true message of the book: it doesn't matter how different someone is from him, they're still a person that he respects. A must-read book that leaves you wanting more!
SpacemanSpiffTH More than 1 year ago
Bernie is at it again, fixing things that others have messed up. Similar to his first book, but completely different in situation, solution and results. Bernie's character and approach to thinking, allow Bernie to investigate and create new solutions to problems that others miss. This book is fun and relatively a quick read that I thoroughly enjoyed!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the 3rd book in this series, and Bernie has grown so much. This book is a joy to read, it is funny and the characters are so diverse in all of the different worlds that Bernie interacts with, including his own. He faces challenges well beyond his years and despite his cloud he keeps coming out on top. Fell in love with the characters in this story. The blossoming love between Bernie and Suzie adds to the stories enjoyment and depth. Absolutely, and totally recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story about growing up and learning how to handle life. Received and arc of this book and this is my honest review.
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
By Steve Lebel [ I am voluntarily reviewing this book after receiving it as a gift from the author.] “The only thing I can think of is how hard you worked to save your world. I’ve never seen anyone who cares as much as you do about created life. I think it has to do with that.” Bernie is now working as a sort of a low level trouble shooter for The Business. Even though he's won an exceptional award for his last Universe, it hadn't really affected him ..much. That is, until he is singled out by a returning older god for his work. That even makes his father who hasn't contacted him since his parents split up years before sit up and take notice. Bernie has always wanted some recognition from the "great Simeon", only god to ever win three Universe Awards. He is warned by just about everyone close that that there might be some hidden agenda that his father has to be trying to connect with him now. Is Bernie mature enough to see that? While this is going on in Godtown, Bernie is trying to find out the problems in a Universe still under warranty but showing some definite problems. It was made specifically to supple guid peppers and mangaroons for another owner, however the farmers on the planet are under some kind of threat, and Bernie needs to find the threat and "fix" it. Then the farmers can go back to growing and supplying the owner with the product. The owner sees only his bottom line even if Bernie sees beyond that to the communities themselves. Something has happened to change things, and Bernie wants to find the problem and offer a solution instead of 'blinking them out" and starting again. While working on this situation, Bernie is also tiptoeing around young adulthood and new attractions---girls. His parents were no example, so he turns to the ever present Lenny and Suzi to try and get some answers. And together, the three friends work on restructuring not only their lives, but the lives of those on the "broken Universe" before everything falls apart. Steve Lebel again draws you into a world you can quickly come to love. Imagine an ethical basis for creating a world in a business that makes them and gets rid of them just as quickly, with no thought as to what/who they have created. What does Bernie learn from both his life and his world's life. What can he teach his teachers and learn from those he teaches as well as his growing maturity within. When I first (literally) stumbled upon the first Universe Builders book, I told everyone it would make a great ethics lesson for a Confirmation Class. I stand behind that statement as I review this third book in the series. Well done Bernie! Well done Steve Lebel! 5 stars.
Amys_Bookshelf_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Wonderful Story It was such a wonderful story and I thought Bernie was just one of those characters that are worth remembering. I wish I had read the stories that came before this, but eventually I will go back and read those as well. Bernie is on a journey of his own making, and he's a God, but he makes mistakes and it also makes him likable. He's smart and he's a problem solver, even if it doesn't always work. Bernie has beliefs different from those around him, and he's an enjoyable character.
Pankaj More than 1 year ago
I have read all of Steve LeBel's books and this is by far the best. The entire series has developed well and this book is the climax. The entire concept - young gods who make new Universes (or fix old ones) - is captivating. The protagonist, Bernie, has now arrived. This is the longest book in the series at some three hundred odd pages but is so engrossing that you cannot put it down.I read it in one go. It is a self-contained book and I don't think you have to read the earlier books to enjoy it to the fullest. Of course, you will want to read them all after you have read this book. Even though this is listed as Young Adult, people in all age groups will find this book interesting.
rissa_mae More than 1 year ago
In this third installment of the Universe Builders series, Bernie has finished school, won a Universe Award, and is working for The Business. His first official assignment comes from one of The Business' customers who is complaining that a universe built for him, Photox, has ceased functioning as he requires. You see, the traders have stopped bringing one of the crops, guid-peppers, to the trading posts. Bernie is tasked with finding out what happened and who is at fault. This task becomes so much more than a simple who did what and why. Rather, Bernie embarks on a journey that reveals how he feels about himself and the other gods, created beings, his father, and even how his choices affect others. He is slowly meandering to adulthood, growing up by making mistakes and learning from them. He forms ethical stances and faces the challenges of fame. He gets his first kiss and realizes the importance of his friends. How Bernie solves his guid-pepper production problem in this story is perfect, poetic justice at its' finest, and fitting for his beliefs and for the client and Photox's needs.This is Bernie's step into adulthood, and I cannot wait to see what he does next. I have always been drawn to Bernie. He thinks outside of the box, approaching things in such unique and interesting ways. I admire his courage and commitment to his beliefs. I love that he gets so attached to his assignments. I agree with how he feels about what he creates and love his curious and adventuresome nature in broadening his knowledge of them. That he is slightly dorky, awkward, and frequently gets himself in trouble either by accident or attachment only makes him more relatable. I loved every moment of this story, reading through it more than once and enjoying it just as much, if not more, the second time. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this story to everyone who likes a good adventure story with a pinch of fantasy thrown in for good measure. I received a free copy of this book and voluntarily chose to review it.