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Bernie and the Putty

(The Universe Builders #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  707 ratings  ·  142 reviews
ASIN B00KKQT1CC moved to the most recent edition here

Winner of 15 Awards for Excellence.

Dive into a humorous fantasy world unlike anything you have imagined. A world of gods and goddesses who build universes for a living. Are they all-powerful and all-knowing? Well, not exactly... 

As Bernie graduates from God School, he is thrilled to land his dream job as a builder of un
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published June 1st 2014 by Argon Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Terri Klein Steve LeBel author of “The Universe Builders”, you are a true artist of the imagination. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to sit back and enjoy…moreSteve LeBel author of “The Universe Builders”, you are a true artist of the imagination. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to sit back and enjoy an adventure of a lifetime. You transported me from a chair in my living room to many diverse universes. The captivating yin/yang of characters kept me enthralled and at times feeling overly protective of Bernie and the need to protect him from his tormenting co-worker Billy. Your delightful humor transcends all my expectations. I haven’t experienced such excitement in a novel in years and look forward to reading more from you. Thank you again. Tklein (less)

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Heena Rathore P.
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Hobbit and the likes
You can read the original review at JC's Book Haven

NOTE: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Everything about The Universe Builders was brilliant. It has a very strong story-line and absolutely beautiful characters. The uniqueness of the concept is so refreshing that it delighted me to no extent. The narration is simple yet effective and pulls you in the book right from the start and keeps you 'right there' all along.
Steve LeBel has done an amazing job in building the
Julie Powell
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was sent this book for review quite some time ago and have only just been able to read it because my list is vast. As a reviewer as well as an author, I don't necessarily know what to expect and this story surprised me - it is an amazing read.

Being a mixture of fantasy, science-fiction and science-fact for the main part, this was fascinating in itself, and yet it was filled with intrigue, good v evil and a touch of romance. It is also steeped in philosophy and myth, intermingled with such topi
Patrick Hodges
Let me say this at the start - this book was flat-out one of the most imaginative and creative story lines I've ever read. This book has won fourteen awards, and I can now say that it has earned every single one of them.

Many of us have worked in offices, cubicle farms where we feel the pressure every day to succeed, with a glowering boss looking over our shoulder or through the glass of his corner office. Plus, we have the co-workers: the brilliantly cool guy, the sweet girl, and the jerk who ma
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very different kind of read for me. I really enjoyed this book. you have a bunch of God's building universes but in particularly two who the book focuses on.
kind of a evil verses good story.
very intriguing, fascinating, enjoyable.
you have your main character Bernie, a young god who graduates from builders school. he's kind of odd but in a good way. Then you have his enemy Billy who is out to destroy him when he lands a job at The Business.
Billy will do anything, go to any length to get Bern
I was honored to get this book to review for the L,S,K Sweetheart blog and books to curl up with blog. I have to say I was very surprised at this book . It had me hooked for the first chapter. Bernie is a young god just finishing god school. Where he is on to bigger and better things working for the company as a builder. He is the builder of new universes and life forms. But with every bit of good there is a lot of bad , That bad comes in the form of Billy, The bully from school. Bernie doesn't ...more
H.William Ruback
It is said that there is a grain of truth in each legend of mythology, I’m not sure though that Bernie is what the Norse had in mind. A world of gods and goddesses creating universes for The Business, gives this story infinite possibilities. And Steve LeBel does not disappoint.
Bernie, fresh from God School has landed his perfect job, making worlds for The Business. With the aid of his friends he will try to build the perfect world. But for every light there is a dark and the dark in Bernie’s wo
Amber M. McCarter
Sep 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I feel like I've missed something here. This had enough intriguing little plot points sprinkled throughout to trigger some thought... But nothing too deep. And overall, it seemed a bit too simplistically composed, character "development" included (there really wasn't any). Some of the most crucial foundations for the story were unnecessary at best, if not downright implausible. In fact, if it weren't for those, this might have made 4 stars in my book. As it is, I can't quite understand where all ...more
Andi Houtsch
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy, having signed up for the possibility based solely on the synopsis and cover art. I was immediately intrigued which says a lot about Mr. LeBel’s ability to hook a reader before they’ve even started reading the book itself.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Bernie and the Putty. The writing is superb; so much so that I forgot that Mr. LeBel is not a teenager fresh out of school. Bernie and the cast of characters reach out and grab you from the get go, eve
Mar 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

I saw how a friend had highly recommended this book and was convinced that it was right up my street. Let me just say – what an unexpected delight! I expected to enjoy it, after all every review I read was very positive, but I did not expect to be drawn in so quickly. The story had me captivated until the end and an overwhelming desire to see Bernie victorious kept me hooked. His genuine need to maintain his own strong moral code tests him to the limit. Others, his friend Lenny being o
Xao Thao
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to Bernie and the Putty through a book trailer. I don't like book trailers at all because I feel like it's supposed to be a movie, but when I watched the trailer for Bernie and the Putty, I was completely hooked and I was very interested in reading the book. It was the first time that ever happened and I was blessed to be able to receive an advanced ebook copy for review.

The story starts out with an explanation of the World and the Business and the Annual Universe Awards.
Hayley Guertin

This book was just wonderful! The story was captivating, and the characters were interesting and fun. I absolutely loved the storyline, and the story was quite original. I recommend this book to anyone!

Bernie and The Putty is about a boy who lives in a world full of gods, who create universes. When Bernie gets a job at The Business, he gets an assignment to create his own universe so they can see what he can do. But, he is met with a few bumps along the way. Will he make it through his pr
Chris Snead
Jan 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With the genre described as fantasy/humor, I went into this expecting something along the lines of Douglas Adams' hit "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", and Mr. LeBel didn't disappoint. While it wasn't the same kind of silly, slapstick comedy, it was extremely entertaining and I thought I felt a hint of Roger Zelazny (Chronicles of Amber...another fantasy series that I absolutely loved). If you have enjoyed either of those, you have to try "Bernie and the Putty", you will love it. Everybody ...more
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
In The Essence of Christianity, the philosopher Feuerbach posited that man creates God in his own image. In The Universe Builders LeBel has done, although rather less seriously and more entertainingly, just that, creating gods who are just like us, even down to the jeans and untied shoelaces of the young god. Just the originality of it would have been enough for me to rate it above average, but to the novel premise are added solid writing, likable characters, humour and that favourite of mine, a ...more
Felicia Madura
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book totally took me by surprise! I am generally a horror/thriller fan, but something about this story really sucked me in! It’s got an interesting plot about gods and universes, and one god in particular, just starting out in the world. He’s a kid, just out of school, and he hasn’t had the best of luck. The author does a great job of building the empathy for his main character, Bernie. I loved the story line, and it was well paced. It definitely kept me turning pages to find out what poor ...more
S.M. Lowry
Feb 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was fantastic! I was riveted, wanting to know what was going to happen to Bernie. The story has humor, a well thought out world of gods and their creations, and subplots interwoven in a way that makes this book difficult to put down. Bernie has many challenges he must overcome, including living up to his powerful Builder father who abandoned him, being poor, and dealing with his chaos cloud and his enemy, Billy. This is a fascinating tale of good vs. evil and of a young hero on a journ ...more
J. Scott Payne
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve LeBel, a first-time novelist, gives comic and cosmic insight into what it actually might be like to have god-like powers. He has painted a delightful portrait of a probie god grappling with his first assignment: to create a universe.

Bernie has an enemy and doesn’t know it. And an ally, a chick who digs him, but he doesn’t know that either. See Bernie’s a nerd, so terribly earnest he forgets to tie his shoes, comb his hair or button all his buttons. He’s also fundamentally decent, too decen
L.J. Capehart
Mar 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun book to read! Bernie is a very likeable character. The plot is creative, and interesting, and I really enjoyed it. And frankly, I think the ending was perfect! I hope Steve Lebel continues writing more stories about Bernie, and his friends. This was very well done.
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read many wonderful books recently, but I was absolutely captivated by Steve LeBel's Universe Builders. From the first few words I was caught; sucked into a wonderful world where the gods have their own homes, go to school, work, have friendships and favorite hangout places among other things. It was such a different, unique and thoroughly delightful world I rarely wanted to leave, and even when I had to my mind would stay on where I left off in the story. To me, that is the mark of a tru ...more
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The Universe Builders: Bernie and the Putty is written by Steve Lebel and stands a part in a sea of mediocrity. It features a main character named (surprise) Bernie and he is a God in another Universe that has graduated school with a major in Universe building and is hoping to obtain a job with “the company,” to build universes for a living.

Let me just say that this is one of the best books I have read all ye
Charles Garard
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve LeBel is an author who can write. This is obvious you say, and maybe it should be, but this is the best e-book in the fiction realm (novel or book of poetry) that I have read so far among those promoted on the Facebook group sites. He knows how to write English sentences -- something that should be but is not a requirement for all e-book authors.

This is not to stay that Steve's novel is perfect. No work is. For example, the exposition in the beginning, after the introduction, is very sket
Really cool book

a good verses evil book. 2gods , one trying to discover who he is, shy, niece, not much confidence in himself but a very special boy who will soon have to learn some very tough lessons in life even as a god. the other a very anger evil boy god who hates Bernie the, good hearted boy he is. Billy being the anger mean evil boy who takes advantage of everyone around him but makes it a point to destroy Bernie for reasons of his own besides he's a bit demented.
I found this book to be
Nicole Delacroix
Jul 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and Everyone
Recommended to Nicole by: Steve LeBel
I first thought this would be another foray into a look-a-like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, what I found was a whimsical and witty dive into the unexpected. The story itself is pure genius at it's very best, the characters are well written, wonderfully developed and oh so thankfully flawed (for GODS!). The narration is perfect third person, you feel like you're sitting on each characters shoulder as the story unfolds. I had honestly resolved to read a few chapters each day until done and here ...more
Tammy K.
Dec 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of all ages who enjoy Action- Adventure, Science Fiction - Fantasy, Feel-Good stories.
A rare Gem!

Fresh out of school with a degree in Universe Building, Bernie lands himself a chance at a coveted position at 'The Business' the place where universe are created. To gain the position, he must build a worthy world. Given unlimited supplies and total artistic control over his project, you would think this would be an easy task.
Yet all is not roses for the young god, who has spent his whole life living in the shadow of his Universe Award winning father. Troubled by a chaos spirit, thi
Linda Watkins
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was privileged to be selected to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Bernie and the Putty, the first book in Steve LeBel's Universe Buliders' series. While the genre is a departure from what I usually read, LeBel's gentle humor and unique storyline piqued my interest.

The main character is Bernie, a shy young god who has just graduated from (you guessed it) "god school" and is about to begin building universes. He has good friends, Lenny and Suzie, who help him along his way, but he also has an ene
Susan Tarr
Dec 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
What an amazing story! I was riveted! Since it is pure fantasy, I had no inkling of what might happen next.
Bernie is such a delightful, kind and caring young chap. But when the odds are against him, he comes out fighting. Just not in any manner we might imagine. He has all the angst of any young man growing up in our society. He struggles with bullies, lack of finances, being who he is and the age he is. He knows he is different, and cannot easily conform to the norm, but what is going on in his
Edmund Balzer
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The Universe Builders is possibly one of the best books I've read in a long time. It was absolutely riveting and drew me in from the first page. The premise is interesting and engaging. A young god named Bernie has recently graduated from the School and begun his first job at the Business, where he is assigned to create a universe. He struggles with his nature and a former schoolmate turned coworker who repeatedly bullies him.
The storyline was fresh and completely original. Instead of being the
N. Jr.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not exactly my type of book, but I did find it rather witty and offbeat. That's the main reason for the 4 stars ...more
Kathy Davie
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
First in The Universe Builders fantasy series for Young Adults and revolving around gods, builder gods!

A special thanks to Steve LeBel for allowing me to read this story.

Wow. LeBel's Bernie and the Putty has won at the New York Book Festival, the 2015 San Francisco Book Festival Prize for Science Fiction, and the Grand Prize for the Writer's Digest Self-Published e-Book Awards; nominated for the Beverly Hills Book Award; was a 2015 semi-finalist for the Kindle Book Award for Sci-Fi/Fantasy; and
Aria Veil
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Delivering on such a premise is no easy task. It is astounding how Steve LeBel was able to pull off such a story with ease like it was the most natural thing in the world. "Bernie and the Putty" was able to lay out the groundwork for books two and three which is essential for any type of series.

It is a treat for both young and adult readers. The experience takes you into god school to landing his first job and lastly, to diving into a universe of his creation. Bernie bears that same conflict th
Ryan D. D.
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taking Universe Building to the next Level

A coming of age novel, with a very clear karmic message. Our friend Bernie gets tossed through the ringer as he gets a dream position next to his old school bully. Our bully carries his action into the work-place trying to sabotage poor Bernie. Great comedic moments, bouts of conflict, and positive messages with a fabulous and highly detailed world. You won't be disappointed.
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But there's a serious s

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The Universe Builders (4 books)
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