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Dead Five's Pass

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  35 reviews
When a new cave is discovered in the Rocky Mountains, no one considered the terrible consequences that would follow.

A volunteer mountain rescuer dealing with the loss of a child, the break-up of a relationship and the grief of a rescue gone wrong, Carise Culey isn't sure she's the right person for the job when she receives an emergency call. A climber is missing, presume
Published February 18th 2014 by DarkFuse (first published February 1st 2014)
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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Dan Schwent
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, darkfuse
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Nelson
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Rating
This was my first read from Colin Barnes and I thoroughly enjoyed it, Dead Fives Pass packs an incredible amount into a novella and I felt like I’d read something a lot more substantial.

A new cave is discovered in Dead Fives Pass, named after the five fang like rocks at the base of the slope and via a mountaineers forum the race is on to explore the discovery. The terror begins almost straight away as the first to reach the cave encounter a malevolent entity, the tension then builds dr
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.

This was my first read by Colin Barnes, and it was an adrenaline fueled adventure! A "Lovecraftian"-type story, this novella had just the right blend of archaic knowledge blended with creatures that modern man has never seen. I felt that it had an especially strong ending. Where some stories of this kind just come to an abrupt stop, this novella gives enough to the reader to let them continue on, mentally, with the possibilities presented. A great read by an author I'm now eager to rea
Jon Recluse
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
An engaging blend of adventure with Lovecraftian horror, this tale of spelunkers racing to explore a newly discovered cave uncovering an unearthly horror that twists bones as easily as it shreds sanity is sure to please both canon purists and horror fans in general.
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
I've always thought of mountain climbing as a particularly masochistic activity. Barnes threw it some pure sadism on top of that as well. Once some climbing enthusiasts make a discovery they can't resist exploring, it all turns into a snafu of epic proportions. The gore, the ancient secret, the fight for survival. And oh yes, there will be tentacles. As it is occasionally the case, the backstory was more interesting than the actual narrative. Alas, only so many questions can be answered in a sho ...more
Jan 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This is the second book I've read from Darkfuse's novella series. They continue to be of good quality and pretty straight-ahead horror. Dead Five's Pass by Colin F. Barnes is a great read for the Lovecraft crowd. It is a nice addition to the Cthulhu Mythology and does a good job of combining modern horror and Lovecraftian elements. The ancient ones are stilling reeking havoc, this time in a mountain resort area and it is up to two mountain rescue professionals with a bit of history between them ...more
Feb 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Carise teams up with her ex-boyfriend, Marcel, to find a climber who may be trying to reach some new caves. His girlfriend has been found bloodied and beaten and in an almost catatonic state. They must find him before someone or something else does.

A very action packed lovecraftian novella that is lots of fun to read. The characters were well fleshed out, flawed but sympathetic they had you rooting for them to escape the cave. Whilst the pacing was fast and furious I thought it lost a little mom
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, first-reads
I've never really understood the appeal of mountain climbing. It's a mountain. It's steep. I get it. Maybe if there was something up there I wanted I might be enticed into trudging my butt up some snow-capped peak, but all the cool shit is down here among civilization. Climbing a mountain is like hitting a high score on that old Galaga game at the arcade: sure, you did it, but the only people who care are the others playing the game.

Take the poor saps in Dead Five's Pass for instance. A young co
May 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Dead Five's Pass represented something of a challenge to me. On paper, the subject matter was completely up my alley. But I'd never heard of author Colin F Barnes before. Over time, I've learned that a reliable author is worth more than a familiar story-line (consider the proliferation of zombie apocalyptic fiction as an example of what I mean), so I was a little hesitant and found this one never quite forced itself through onto the top of my TBR pile.

Then the Kindle Unlimited program came alon
Feb 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Dead five's Pass was a very good fast paced read. This is the first book by Colin I have read and it will not be the last. The story is centered around Carise and Marcel who work as volunteer mountain rescuers. The two had a relationship two years prior. They both get the call to go rescue two stuck climbers at the top of Dead Five's Pass. This is where the story gets going. If I had to paint you a picture of this story it would be Lovecrafts take on the movie The Descent. I enjoyed reading this ...more
Kristin (Blood,Sweat and Books)
Reviewed originally @Blood,Sweat and Books

Dead Five's Pass is a Novella I went into with only moderate expectations. Sure it sounded good but so had many others with similar premises and those all fell flat. So naturally I was quite surprised when I found myself actually being scared by the unknown presence slaughtering all those poor souls in Dead Five's Pass. Oh, and die they did. This little Novella is certainly Horror filled and not for the weakly stomached. Good for me but might be a little
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, 2014-reads
Another enjoyable novella from Darkfuse, which provides quite a bit of variety in what they publish---everything from dark and introspective literary style dark fiction to quick, fun thrillers.

Enjoyable B-movie monster romp of the Lovecraft variety. Not deep by any means, but fun. Pacing was right on---this one just flew by. If you are wanting something that will provide a fun hour or so, this novella will do quite nicely.

I am a big fan of novellas like this one (monster romps that are well writ
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Book review originally published here:

This is my first read by Colin F. Barnes, and it’s definitely far from dissapointing. Dead Five’s Pass is dark, terrible, and harbors a form of cosmic horror creepy enough to startle you in your seat. Very Lovecraftian, with a Cthulhu-like monster threatening the lives of people in a small town. I don’t typically find this type of dark fiction very creepy, but Colin F. Barnes succeeded where plenty of others have fail
Michael Hicks
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for a good snowy scare story. Set up a big nasty and its unwitting victims against a frigid landscape, and I'm in. Thankfully, Dead Five's Pass lived up fully to my expectations and I got exactly what I was looking for. And hey, that cover art? Stunning.

Satellite images have revealed a new cave system along Dead Five's Pass, and a group of college kids from their university climbing club are on a race to be the first there. One couple arrives early, much to their detriment, and disc
Jennifer Bender
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Colin F. Barnes has skillfully woven a high paced, white-knuckled, free-fall of a horror tale in "Dead Five's Pass" that will wrap it's tentacles around your mind long after the last sentences have been consumed. With a nod to H. P. Lovecraft, Barnes makes this tale of an ancient awakening alien beast in the frigid Canadian wilds all his own, with vivid sensory images and an uncannily multi-faceted peek into the hearts and minds of his characters. This insightful mixture of dynamic emotional ten ...more
William M.
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it

Dead Five's Pass by relative newcomer Colin F. Barnes is a fast paced, generally entertaining read. And while it was competently written, the story, unfortunately felt recycled and added nothing new to the Cthulhu-style mythos. Once the premise is set, anyone who has read this type of Lovecraft homage before, will find the story fairly bland and the by-the-numbers encounters and battles rather pedestrian.

The two main protagonists are somewhat interesting because of the their troub
Kim (Wistfulskimmies Book Reviews)
This is the story of Carise, a volunteer mountain rescuer. Her life has turned into an alcoholic mess after a miscarriage and a rescue that went horribly wrong. Persuaded to go on one last rescue with her ex, Marcel, can she curb her drinking and her feelings for him to facilitate the rescue? Before too long it becomes clear this is no ordinary rescue and she will have to rely on Marcel more than ever...

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this, but it hooked me after the second or thir
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a good, fast paced, Lovecraftian creature feature from Colin F Barnes. A cave mysteriously appears on a remote mountain top next to several strange, ancient rock formations. Spelunkers are racing to see who can be the first to explore the new realm, but are in for a lot more than they bargained for...something in the cave wants to devour them. Now it's a race to see who can get out alive. It will be up to two mountain rescuers and former lovers to band back together to help save the cli ...more
When a girl is found bloody, bruised and acting strangely, Carise and her ex Marcel set out to rescue the girl's boyfriend who is still lost in the mountains and possibly dead. Once they get there, they find a new cave that contains something terrifying. Something older than human civilization that is starting to stir and look for food.

Wow this was a fun read! Barnes ramps up the suspense fairly quickly and keeps it going throughout the book while creating a story that was hard to put down. Wit
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Dead Five's Pass This is a fairly short horror novella about several mountain climbers that are searching for a new cave and end up finding more then they bargained for. I was expecting to really like this because I loved Barnes dystopian book Salt but this one did not impress me. It was a little too unbelievable and it finished with an open ending which I despise. It also hints of more to come but I haven't seen anything yet though and this was written in 2014. I think I'll just stick with his ...more
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
Great fast paced read. This is my first experience with Colin Barnes and I really liked what I read. The story is an action adventure mixed with a bit of horror for good measure. It was hard to put down until I finished it and was pleasantly surprised with the ending. I will be looking for more books by this author.
Josef Hernandez
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it
A solid Lovecraftian mythos novella

For a full review, please go to and follow me on Twitter @josenher
Autumn Is Azathoth
A totally stunning book, a one-stop read for me, perfectly arranged with wonderful Lovecraftian overtones and underpinnings. Extraordinarily scary. Don't read at night!
Jason Bonton
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
My review for the book can be found at the link below:

Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I recently read Colin Barnes latest novella, Dead Five’s Pass, and it’s a checklist of everything that gives me a bad case of the heebie-jeebies and the screaming habdabs. It’s got a bit of just about everything that makes my flesh crawl – ancient many-tentacled evil, primal darkness, moments of unexpected violence, claustrophobic spaces, fear of the unknown and even heights. He’s only gone and bundled all these elements together in one convenient location, it’s a veritable who’s who of my vario ...more
Anthony Hains
Oct 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Dead Five’s Pass by Colin F. Barnes is a wintery tale about a pair of mountain rescuers dispatched to find four young climbers headed to a location where two other young climbers met a gruesome end only a few hours before. The rescuers, Carise and Marcel, find a previously unknown cave filled with strange glowing symbols and housing a beastly presence in the form of tentacles sprouting hooks and spikes that latch on to and yank the unwary to certain death. Rarely does anyone escape the cave aliv ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I went in to this story expecting to know what was going to happen at every turn and just hoping the familiar tale was told in an entertaining way. I think it's safe to say that Barnes took all my expectations and turned them on their heads.

The basic setup should be familiar to fans of horror: people find a new cave in the mountains, people explore cave, terrible things happen in the cave, enter the heroes. And to be fair, the story doesn't diverge greatly from this setup. Instead, what it does
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an author I didn't know so this is the first book I read by him and certainly I enjoyed it.This is a story with a big lovecraftian
influence, we can think there is not plenty of originality here and besides this,normally, is not my cup of tea.I'm not a big fan of
these stories, creatures arrived from the outer space, e.t.s, u.f.o.s etc. but in this case I think the author creates a good story.
The rhythm of the narration is fast and I easily was catched into the story,the action never stops
Mar 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
A new cave is discovered in the Rocky Mountains, and climbers seek it out but don't return. Carise is dealing with a lot in her own life when she receives the call to help find a missing person, whose girlfriend was found bloodied, beaten and catatonic with fear.

It seems this cave is far more than it first appeared. Barnes treads a neat line of realistic horror (in terms of relating to it) and characterisation. Darkness and claustrophic settings are enough to draw you in, but in the midst of all
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, darkfuse, signed
Spelunking, rock climbing and monsters in the Canadian Rockies add up to horrific fun in this newest release from Darkfuse Publishers. A hidden cave opens and is spotted on satellite bringing adventurous groups up the mountain to explore its depths. A frantic call for help is received and and local search and rescue is dispatched. But they have a history and may not be able to work together. Character driven writing and good fun await you.

Recommended reading!
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