Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
The best thing by far about this book was the cover.
The story opened with a stereotypical/cliche horror scene: A couple is making out in a pickup truck in the woods. Woman hears a noise. Man is all "It's nothing, baby, show me those tits of yours." Woman repeats that she heard something, but lifts her shirt for him anyway. Werewolf attacks and kills them both.
And that was the last we saw of the werewolves. Book went on and on about a woman who had been abused and escaped her husband. I was feeling no connection with the characters or the story, so checked Amazon reviews, and others said how the characters weren't developed and it was hard to care about them, so I gave up on the book. (Didn't reach the 50% point, so doesn't count towards the year's total.)
The Three Feathers by Stefan Bolz
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)
This was a weird story. I said that over and over as I was reading it. Not weird in a bad way, but just very strange and felt "off" and disturbingly familiar but I couldn't put my finger on how/why.
It's a "talking animal" story, and perhaps the most realistic, believable animal characters I've ever read in one, and yet I stopped reading at the 35% point.
The story opened with a rooster. A perfectly normal, plain rooster. Yet he had a dream about three feathers (which gave him the strongest feeling of happiness/love), and that started him on a quest to find them. (Again, he was just a plain rooster, nothing special or more intelligent about him, yet the idea of him going on a quest worked.) Along the way, he picked up a wolf companion (seems a wacky idea, but through a stretch I could go along with believing it could happen). Then the two picked up an old warhorse companion.
All along the story that far, I had the strong, strong feeling the story was supposed to be a metaphor or allegory or something like that. Some religious, perhaps non-Christian/non-western religion idea? I couldn't put my finger on it, and it was driving me crazy.
Then I remembered there was a German story, Town Musicians of Bremen. From wiki: "In the story a donkey, a dog, a cat, and a rooster (or hen), all past their prime years in life and usefulness on their respective farms, were soon to be discarded or mistreated by their masters. One by one they leave their homes and set out together." So it sort of fit that, if you drop the cat and make the donkey into a horse.
As their quest continued, they freed a pegasus who had been trapped as a statue, and she told the horse that no creature is born a pegasus, but all horses could become one if they learned to let go of the boundaries they believed they have. (Which again pinged me as maybe being some theme from some religion? Or something? Arg!)
Unfortunately the book's pacing was really, really bad, so slow that even with the well-written animal characters, I was too bored to continue it.
Edit: AH HA! The author wrote another book, The Dawning of the True Self: The Spiritual Journey in The Three Feathers. I was right, it was supposed to be some religious thing. It's based on A Course in Miracles, which looks like some mishmash of New Age stuff, and the author states that Jesus guided her writing of it.