Meet Hess and Elza. Like Nick and Nora, Harry and Sally, Pat and Tiffany, they're a memorable couple, trading wisecracks and getting out of difficult situations. The difference with Hess and Elza is that they're linked eternally, through countless Iterations of worlds. They are Observers, a handful of humanoids sent by a Creator to observe His/Her/Its world (though, if this Creator is so omnipotent, why does “He/She/It” need anybody to do the observing for “Him/Her/It”?). Other Observers go through their Iterations as different genders, but Hess and Elza are always a man and a woman. They constantly snipe at each other, each accusing the other of “participating” in the world too much. They seem to be the only Observers with empathy. Like other Observers, they can die, but are dead only temporarily. Every time one pops up in a different Iteration, they seek the other. It is much more difficult in preliterate and even pre-Internet worlds. Other Observers, who do much more shape-shifting, seem jealous of them, and some who see themselves as having more executive privileges seek out opportunities to submit them to torture (imagine torturing someone who never dies). The worst-case scenario? “Dying” and being buried, left to lie quietly underground, perhaps for centuries. This is why Zack, Hess' alter ego, a convenience-store clerk, is afraid of the dark.
This book pulls the reader in; it has been written with a lot of imagination. Who are the best Observers? The ones who watch passively, or the ones who participate out of an overwhelming empathy? What would a blind Creator desire?