Definitely for an older audience, Magic Void is the second novel in Michelle Hercules’s science fiction retelling of The Wizard of Oz.
Picking up where the previous novel left off, the story continues to follow Dorothy as she seeks a way off Oz and to Mirus, the star eater, in the hopes of finding a cure for her cousin. On her journey, she has met three unlikely companions while also finding herself in the middle of a war between the Raven Witch and the survival of Oz.
Dorothy is a fierce protagonist with a powerful sense of caring and justice that connects her to the original story. Hercules has kept the essence of what made Dorothy such a great character alive with the softness of who she is, in her caring nature, and sense of justice. However, the added science fiction element and the way she utilizes her intellect makes her snarky, fierce, and relatable.
The other characters as well have grown up a lot, and their dynamics have gotten more vibrant and more romantic, as the story grosses. It is easy to say that Dorothy serves as a Mary Sue caricature, but what saves her from that are her flaws. The reverse-harem aspect of the story flows, creating tension for all the characters, but they all interest with Dorothy differently as well. Their personalities shine in the way they treat her, in their actions and respect, and it makes for an interesting read to see these relationships develop.
As for the story itself, it follows a steady course. It is, after all, a Wizard of Oz retelling, so the direction of the story is apparent: Dorothy has to defeat the witch and save Oz. Nevertheless, the journey there is both fun and action-packed. The story moves so quickly, introducing plot twists at every edge, it starts with a bang and continues the momentum excellently.
As far as Oz retellings go, this one is good. It has excellent character dynamics, development, and the sci-fi twist blends so well with the fantasy. (★★★★☆)