THE TRICKER-TREATER AND OTHER STORIES is a collection of supernatural tales by Briana Morgan. An Eldritch terror visits an unsuspecting woman to claim a sacrifice for a wish granted to a little boy. A home that rearranges itself and its inhabitants. Two brothers set out to see in search of a lost prize at their peril. A man of the cloth is possessed by the spirit of a recently passed parishioner who seeks to complete his unfinished business and move on into the afterlife. Nothing is what it seems in these stories of misdirection and horror.
This is definitely a fun read. Briana Morgan really has a way of keeping the reader on their toes. Her stories were full of twists that just surprised the hell out of me. Trust me when I tell you, the author will shock you with some new horrifying truth you never saw coming. My favourite stories are The Tricker-Treater, The Mistake House and The Charity. These tales give readers a quick glance into the wicked imagination of Briana Morgan. There were some stories here that were off the genre. Not to say I didn't enjoy them. They just strayed from the theme.
I was excited to get my hands on TRICKER-TREATER AND OTHER STORIES. Briana Morgan wrote one of my favourite novellas of 2020. UNBOXED is an amazing read that set the bar for me as a reader. After getting a taste of the author's work and seeing the absolutely amazing cover, I knew I was in for a delightfully terrifying read. This is a short collection of stories by a talented author that I am always happy to recommend. I suggest you check this one out but be wary of The Tricker-Treater and his chicanery.
TRICKER-TREATER AND OTHER STORIES by Briana Morgan
My name is Andrew 'The Book Dad' and I am a reviewer of horror fiction. It is my intent to support those in the #HorrorCommunity any way I can while on my literary journey to reading all things terrifying and suspenseful!
3.5 rounded up for Goodreads!
THE TRICKER TREATER And Other Stories is Briana Morgan’s first all-in dive into horror. Earlier this year, I read Morgan’s UNBOXED; a stage play I would safely call horror-adjacent. THE TRICKER-TREATER is a collection of several stories ranging in length, genre, and style.
THE HANGING OF CONSTANCE EVANS
THE MISTAKE HOUSE
In terms of my overall reading experience, I have to start with this cover. Obvious to seasoned horror fans, this is an Elderlemonlemon Design (Kealan Patrick Burke) and it is straight up eye-candy. The colors, the font, that creature--much like food, where I eat with my eyes first, this cover is all kinds of appetizing.
The title story is a great start to the collection exploring a trending trope in horror: the wicked game. I’ve read several stories this year where the main characters get caught up in some kind of horrible, high stakes game. Someone or someTHING forces the characters to make an impossible choice or else.
This was a fun story that I would love to see developed further into a full novella.
If flash-fiction is your thing, MORATORIUM and THE MISTAKE HOUSE deliver. I know some readers don’t like it because there’s not a lot there to sink your teeth into but I enjoy those ‘short sharp shocks’.
THE DIVE was interesting. I wasn’t sure if it was me or the story but I got confused somewhere along the way and I didn’t find my way back. I either missed a scrap of information that would have tied everything together or it just wasn’t there. Either way, I left that one feeling unsatisfied.
One of my favorite stories here is THE HANGING OF CONSTANCE EVANS. I’ve been mildly obsessed with the Salem Witch Trials ever since I learned about them in grade school history. I enjoyed Biana’s tale and I was sad to let go of Faith, Constance, and Thomas.
I’m glad that there was a possession story in this collection--CHARITY is about Father Hildebrand and his unique encounter with a cursed/haunted object. A pretty bleak ending. I enjoyed it.
Overall, I think this is an alluring introduction to the imagination of Briana Morgan. I’m excited to see where this journey into horror will take her--I’m keeping my bookshelves open to whatever she releases in the future.
The Tricker-Treater, the latest release (and my second read) from Briana Morgan is an enjoyable collection of eight quickly digested dark narratives. As a whole, the collection is fun. I dig Briana’s style, quick and uptempo, with solid characters and quality dialogue serving the story. And every story builds to a nice crescendo, heading to a nice punch.
A quick rundown-
The Tricker-Treater: The title track, is cool. The nonchalant way Riley delivers the news of Moira’s fate works great. I feel like this baddie is a fun character Briana can expand upon in the future.
Moratorium: a strong bit of flash fiction.
The Dive: Beyond the plot device for these two brothers being where they are, I really dug this story. Great character interaction.
The Hanging of Constance Evans: my favorite piece here. Great all around, I loved the endgame.
Charity: I love “priests having their faith challenged” stories, not so much ghost possession stories. There’s a fine (but undetermined) line of what I believe a spirit should and shouldn’t be able to do. I know, it’s silly, and it’s totally situational, all in the set up, I guess. Still, Father Hildebrand’s tiptoeing into obsession reads well, and leads to a solid payoff.
The Session: great character interaction and dialogue. Still, I want to know more.
The Mistake House: another strong bit of flash.
The Job: my least favorite piece. Felt a little clunky, character interaction and dialogue not as strong as the previous stories, and I couldn’t connect with the narrative.
Briana excels at building characters and giving them plausible dialogue, and those who know me know that dialogue is a key foundation to a book. It’s the number one thing I look for in a read. I look forward to a longer novella or novel length piece from Briana, something giving her already solid characters room to roam. It feels like her work is heading in a darker direction and that’s awesome. I’m eager for this and I’m excited to see where Briana’s career takes her.
Personal entertainment value:
4/5. I had a good time.
Zakk Madness is a 40 something horror nerd and yo-yo enthusiast. Not a critic, but a fan of horror fiction. Former reviewer for The Mouths of Madness Podcastshow, he currently reviews as The Eyes of Madness. When this chaotic life is keeping him from reading he is spending what free time he has with his wife and their three sons.
The Tricker-Treater by Briana Morgan was quick and fun. And by quick, I mean QUICK. I read it this morning. I think this is a solid collection of stories. Like most collections, I liked some more than others but there were no stories that I didn't like at all. I really enjoyed the story for which the book is named, The Tricker-Treater. I wish that story was a whole book, but I think that is a common problem with horror readers, we always want more. Some other standout stories for me were Moratorium, Charity and The Job. The ones that I wasn't so much a fan of weren't bad by any means. They were just over shadowed by the stories that I really loved.
I'm giving this book 4 stars. I think a majority of the stories were great and creepy, utilizing multiple kinds of fear and unease to keep the reader interested. I am only taking away that last star because of the stories that didn't quite hit the mark for me.
I think this is the first book I've seen with a content warning in the author's note at the beginning of the book. Though I am not personally a huge fan of content warnings in books, I am glad to see an author listening to a good portion of the readers in the horror community and adjusting their books accordingly. I commend Briana Morgan for that.
This book is a fast read with a cool cover (elderlemon designs is responsible for that) that will keep you guessing. It has enough variety in each story to keep readers interested and any horror fan would find something they like in this book. I definitely recommend it.
I love reading short story collections when I can’t focus on one book. I’m in that state of mind where I’m reading a few pages and putting it down and picking up another book to do the same. The holidays are crazy times and just the stress of everything decreases my focus. When I picked up this short story collection, it had that quick and easy follow to it. Another thing I loved was the ending to most of the stories. They were unpredictable and I never could have guessed them. I love being tricked in the end. My favorite stories from the collection were “The Tricker-Treater” , “The Hanging of Constance Evans” and “Charity”. There are a great mix of stories in this collection from Halloween, Assassins, Witches, Ghosts, Crazy Houses and more. There is a little something for everyone but with every collection I have my favorites and some that just didn’t work for me. I gave this collection and overall 3 ⭐️.
Short description and reactions to my favorites as I was reading:
The first story of the collection, Riley visits Moira and tells her of the Treater-Treated and how he is going to visit. He loves to give treats but there is always a game to be played. I really enjoyed this story. It definitely took an unexpected turned at the end. I love when I can’t see the endings coming.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐇𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐄𝐯𝐚𝐧𝐬
This is the first witchy short story I’ve read all year and I loved it! So great!
A possession story from a simple cabinet at a charity event. The regret of unfinished business is heavy on the soul. Very interesting ending to this story.
“Every game has rules, Moira. Do you want to play?”
I think I have found a new favorite author!
Briana’s writing is, IMO, exceptional. Each story flowed so easily and kept me engaged. Although I enjoyed each and every story in its own way the stellar for me was The Tricker-Treater. I also feel like Briana did such a great job of giving us totally different stories. In this collection we encounter a raging storm at sea, a witch hanging, a sinister ghost, an evil house and much more. Each story had a different atmosphere and voice which really kept me looking forward to the next story.
I highly recommend this to anyone who needs some quick and easy-to-read spooky stories! I especially think this would be a great reading slump buster. It cured my slump! 4 stars!!