I am beginning work on a novel and the main POV character is shaping up to be something other than than a normal human person. Since I'm still in the outline stage I won't go into all the gory details, but the basic idea is that the main character (as well as a lot of other people) are the result of genetic manipulation. They were created for a purpose (not as engineered soldiers so I'm avoided that cliche so far) by a company that has since gone bust, leaving the results of their work to wander around and try to integrate with the mainstream human society. The original idea was to have all these people be spliced with one of about six different strains of otherwise common animals, cat, dog, pig, horse, whatever. My question is: Has the anthropomorphized main character become a cliche to avoid? I have heard several people talk about how that theme is overused and a book written like that has very little promise beyond the author's own amusement. I'm going to flatter myself and say that I might be able to write something that *could* be sold, so I don't want to cripple anything I produce right from the start, when it could actually be changed. I suppose I could work out some other reason for a whole group of people to be shunned from a society, but I'm rather attached to the ideas and characters that I already have. So what are your thoughts? Do you have animal characters? People that act like animals? Animals that act like people? Any combination therein? And if you picked up a book and the back cover said the hero happened to be part horse/goat/elephant/marmot etc, is that a selling feature or a sign to walk away? TL;DR -> is an animal themed main character something to avoid like the plague or usable if done carefully?