One certainly can't fault From the Teeth of Angels for its ambition. After all, here's a novel that takes on nothing less than the very nature of death itself - why it happens, what it means, and more. More to the point, it does so in a relatively short length, and while creating vivid characters whose arcs are genuinely involving and moving. The initial premise, though - that's where you start to realize that you're reading something of immense ambition and scope (in a metaphysical sense). That premise: there are those who meet Death in their dreams, and as is human nature, want to ask him questions. But asking questions of Death comes with a heavy price for those who don't understand his answers, not the least of which are horrific scars and wounds. That's a phenomenal enough idea for a single book, but instead, Carroll mixes in two parallel stories of people dealing with changes in their life. The first is a former children's television host now facing a terminal disease; the other a beloved actress who has begun to reappraise her life and has met a man who has changed the way she sees everything. Carroll slides from point of view to point of view effortlessly, creating characters full of flaws, strengths, self-delusions, and fears that are both particular to the characters and oddly universal, But more than that, he beautifully weaves all of this together into something complex and profound, creating a climax that both concludes the characters' stories and yet also grapples with ideas about the very nature of the world and our existence. From the Teeth of Angels is my first exposure to Carroll, but you can rest assured that it won't be my last; from his beautiful prose to his strong characters, from his fascinating ideas to his simple but effective plotting, From the Teeth of Angels is a phenomenal piece of fiction, and its cosmology and perspective are moving in a way you may not expect. I'm going to have to dig more into Carroll; if this is any indication, I'm excited about reading the rest of his works.