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Old Broken Road

(The Bell Forging Cycle #2)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  127 ratings  ·  31 reviews
It's called the Broken Road. A long-abandoned route veiled in rumor, only spoken of in whispers. Some claim that bandits stalk its overgrown path, while others speak of a city of cannibals. Stories tell of dark apparitions, bizarre monsters, and ancient evils. One thing is certain: no one goes near it.

Caravan Master Waldo Bell has had his fill of trouble. But when faced wi
Paperback, 356 pages
Published October 13th 2014 by K. M. Alexander (first published October 1st 2014)
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Jason Vanhee Yes, you should; the first book weighs pretty heavily on events in the second. It *can* stand alone, but I think that's not the ideal way to read it.…moreYes, you should; the first book weighs pretty heavily on events in the second. It *can* stand alone, but I think that's not the ideal way to read it.(less)
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Justin Pitcher
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great sequel!
Waldo Bell is back in a follow-up to The Stars Were Right. A blend of western, post-apocalyptic fantasy, mystery and Lovecraft has Waldo leading his caravans and client into the wilderness of the post-Aligning world.

The dynamic is different this time, as Waldo can (and must) rely on the support of his crew. We get to see new sides to characters (both new and old) and learn more about the cities and territories that surround Lovat.

The dread will weigh heavily on you as you flip ea
Steve Leroux
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A smoldering delight! Alexander continues to impress me with his skill as a world-builder and story-teller. He keeps the story on a slow burn, never letting things get out of hand while never letting the reader off the hook. His hero is honestly flawed, the supporting cast honestly unforgiving. I'm very much looking forward to Alexander's next book. ...more
Oct 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I enjoyed this follow up to The Stars Were Right immensely! It was great to be back with Wal, Wensem, Sam and the crew, and introduced to some new characters as well. The strange journey across the Broken Road really put me in mind of some of my favorite Dark Tower novels... I found myself pretty well creeped out at times!
Sabih Mir
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic follow-up to his debut, Alexander brings us back to the detailed, dusty world he built-up in The Stars Were Right. The returning characters are fleshed out, and have to deal with the lingering effects of the events in the first book. New characters, new landscapes, and new horrors make Old Broken Road a worthy effort, and expand on the universe Wal, Wensem, and their crew inhabit. Loved every moment of it.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
So you know when you have a few weeks of unemployment to kill so you decide to just sit down and marathon your way through the Harry Potter books, which you haven't touched since the second book came out during your surly teenagerhood when you were (finally) too cool for fantasy? And then on day 2 of the HP marathon, you're like, huh, this second HP book is pretty good, and then by day 3/book 3 you're like, holy shit J.K., check out those mad writing skillz you're acquiring, this shit's rad! And ...more
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
K. M. Alexander’s books have introduced me to weird fiction and now I can’t get enough! In The Stars Were Right we saw Waldo Bell careening around the mythical, multi-leveled city of Lovat, avoiding all manner of pursuers while trying to clear his name. Old Broken Road follows Bell Caravans as they take on a new job that gets them out of the city and back into their element. As you can probably guess things don’t really end up going as planned and Waldo again finds himself at odds with shadowy f ...more
Kari-lise Alexander
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is such a great adventure and at a bit times scary (in a good way) squeal to the Stars Were Right. It's awesome seeing Wal in his element with the familiar faces I fell in love with in the first book. There are also new characters traveling with Wal that add a lot to the story, as he heads down the old broken road. Like in the last book, the world building is amazing. You get a great sense of your surroundings that make you feel that you're one of the "roaders" in the book. I think that's w ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this thrilling follow up to Alexander's first novel, The Stars Were Right, Bell Caravans is on a new a journey - The Old Broken Road. I loved reading this, and the storyline kept me on the edge of my seat, excited to see what would happen next. It was a wonderful book, and I look forward to reading more of Bell's adventures! ...more
Drew Gerken
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The second book in The Bell Forging Cycle is an excellent continuation of Waldo Bell's story and the ever-ominous Territories. This is the author's second independently published book and I am here to tell you that his writing continues to get better (from already great). Whenever I read one of these books, I am instantly filled with the gritty, gloomy feeling of foreboding. Waldo and his caravan are forced into a journey that is altogether maddening, when helps the reader appreciate the broken ...more
J. Rushing
Oct 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, horror, spec-fi
I loved "The Stars were Right" and wanted more. I got it and then some. Oh, and don't worry, if you haven't read the first book in this series, you wont be lost. "Old Broken Road" does a great job of catching you up and it truly is a stand alone story despite also being a sequel. The world building is really top notch. There are plenty of tie ins to remind you that your firmly in the world created in "The Stars were Right" but "Old Broken Road" reveals an entirely new part of this world rather t ...more
Sky Bintliff
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To share the road with Waldo Bell is to feel the push and pull of it. There are invisible currents at work here, and if you dig your heels in, you may find yourself bowed by forces larger than yourself. Or, do as the roaders do, and let yourself be swept along to the edge of the map, where uneasy cartographers turned back and wrote 'Here There Be Monsters'. This may be the story of the Old Broken Road, of hard-baked dust and sharp-edged stone, but it will put you in mind of rapids and riptides. ...more
Dwayne Clare
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well paced and lushly described, Old Broken Road gives us a deeper view into the lives of Waldo Bell and his companions. Waldo is a reluctant hero, seemingly singled out by supernatural forces, who have aptly named him, "The Guardian". Driven by his own demons and unwilling to turn back Waldo guides his rapidly diminishing caravan down the forsaken road with one goal on his mind, to bring his companions home with their skin still attached.

Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This sequel brings back the characters you fell in love with reading The Stars Were Right. Even though you may secretly wish Wal would settle down with some street food and live a simple life, he's one of those guys who can't sit still. He's taken on a new job that delivers up more than he bargained for. This new adventure opens up parts of the world that you wish your beloved characters would never have to see. But they do, and you're along for the ride. ...more
Dec 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
won on goodreads giveaway

wow! great characters, great writing style. As a fan of H.P.Lovecraft this book hit the spot. I would recommend this book to fans of horror and Lovecraft, it was amazing.
Jan 21, 2015 added it
Since I couldn't finish reading this, I don't think it's fair to leave a rating. In a nutshell, the writing style is not for me. ...more
Marc E
Apr 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jason Vanhee
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
While the previous book had echoes of Blade Runner and noir, this one leaves the city of Lovat behind and instead is has more of a sword and sorcery feel. I mean, it's guns instead of swords, and there's precious little sorcery, but there's a good bit of Robert E. Howard or even Fritz Leiber in Old Broken Road. I'd lean toward Leiber but will give the nod to Howard instead because there's a bunch of Lovecraft references and Howard had those in spades. The novel really takes off once we catch up ...more
Carlene Cayenne
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’m not one for horror books and I don’t think I would classify this as a traditional horror book but it’s really got some good dark parts in it. the whole book actually is quite good it’s the second book in the series and I think the author only has written three books of the series I don’t know if he’s written any others books.

I like how the character works out each personality and how they meld together and the story itself was really well written. I’ve got the last book and I’m eager to read
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another adventurous tale of Waldo the Caravan Master. Not as clever as the first, but still enjoyable.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another great read in an excellent series.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm told that the world in which Bell Caravans exists (Bell Caravans is the company at the center of The Stars Were Right and of this book, its sequel), is related to the fiction of HP Lovecraft. I've never been a Lovecraft fan. I've certainly read my share of pulp fiction, but despite my efforts at trying to understand why he had so many devoted fans, his stories never really appealed to me. But I do have a weakness for well crafted fantasy stories. I've read much of the fantasy canon -- the GR ...more
Joel Flank
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alexander returns to the post-Aligning word, and presents another Waldo Bell adventure. In a civilization long recovered from the return of the First Ones of legend, the city of Lovat (built upon the remnants of Seattle) needs its caravans to constantly bring in supplies and food from other territories. Bell Caravans is an up and coming company, and Waldo Bell and friends are bringing several wagons full of apples to fee the hungry millions of Lovat. Unfortunately, tensions between Syringa and L ...more
Really liked this sequel to The Stars Were Right. In a way, Old Broken Road has a completely different vibe as TSWR, though equally cool. It had the same feel, to me, as The Gunslinger. It's like Lovecraft meets The Road. The strongest thing about this story is the incredible world K.M. Alexander has created, and I especially like that he's expanded from the urban setting in TSWR to a completely different part of that world. At first, I didn't know what I would think about the radical change of ...more
William Munn
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I finished Old Broken Road a few weeks ago, just in time to read book 3, Red Litten World, when it was released. OBR finds our hero, Waldo Bell, in his element and it is a joy to behold. K. M. has done a fantastic job of bringing this world to life while telling an extremely compelling multi-dimensional story.

You can read this book without reading The Stars Were Right (the first book in the Bell Forging Cycle) and enjoy it, although you should definitely read them both. The stories are quite
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this second book in the Bell Forging Cycle. The first book, The Stars Were Right, was a wonderful introduction to the main character, Waldo Bell, and his business associate and friend, Wensem. And as much as I liked the slightly claustrophobic feel of the multi-level city of Lovat, I enjoyed this open road tale even more.

I tend to like a traveling story, where I can follow my characters as they make their way through unfamiliar landscapes, and discover new places and people (an
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads and it was awesome. It was a great adventure story that I had a hard time putting down, plus I LOVE all my super cool free swag I got. Thanks and keep up the great work you are a amazing author.
Bianca Ruffin
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was an absolute delight reading the second book in this series! Waldo's back in full swing with an intense set of responsibilities.

Most of all, the progression of the story line was impeccable and I look forward to K.M. Alexander's third installment.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As good as the first.

If the first book in was Lovecraftian noir then this one strikes me as Lovecraftian western. The worldbuilding is strong and the characters compelling. Looking forward to the next book.
Brittany Bintliff
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A delightfully creepy journey into uncharted lands of imagination and dread. Waldo and company are out on a tightrope this time, and the tension is so real your palms will sweat. Flew through it, loved it, ready for the next one.
Wichael Tellez
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Delightful & Inventive
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K. M. Alexander is a Pacific Northwest native and novelist living and working in Seattle with his wife and two dogs. His work explores nontraditional settings within speculative fiction, bending and blending genres to create rich worlds and unique approachable characters.

Follow his exploits at

Other books in the series

The Bell Forging Cycle (3 books)
  • The Stars Were Right (The Bell Forging Cycle #1)
  • Red Litten World (The Bell Forging Cycle #3)

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