No Gods, Only Daimons by Kai Wai Cheah takes place in a world close to our own with near-future tech and magic violently mixed in. On this Earth, not-America is engaged in an asymmetric war with not-Islam. The protagonist, Luke Landon, is part of a paranormal paramilitary outfit engaged in spying and small-scale military operations for the not-U.S. government.
When Landons team is sent to knock off a Persian mage attempting a powerful summoning, his future career is drastically altered. It turns out the mage was summoning an archangel, and succeeded. But, in a result no one expected, the archangel kills the summoning mage, passes judgment on all his comrades, and secretly marks Landon as his agent, giving him tremendous power and a not-clearly-defined mission. That making such a covenant with a supernatural creature is a crime in Hesperia (not-America) . . . a capital crime, is yet another complication in Landons life
After mitigating the damage of a terrorist attack on Hesperia, Landon works both for the Hesperian government and Al-Hakem (the archangel) to track back the planners and funders of the attack and prevent more.
The sequel Hammer of the Witches was published in 2018.
This book provides examples of:
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The book has thinly disguised versions of both Christianity and Islam. Other parallel religions may exist as well, but have not yet been touched upon.
- Devil, but No God: Alluded to in the title, and how Luke sees the world at the start of the story, but evidence is starting to appear that he may be wrong.
- Disposing of a Body: After an operation where he ends up killing the target, Luke sucks the body into a magically-produced black hole and carries the mass out with him.
- Evil Gloating: When the Unmaker appears before the climactic fight, he apparently enjoys taunting Landon in this fashion. Landon internally lampshades this with a This Is Reality comment.
- Talking in Your Dreams: How Al-Hakem talks with Luke after their initial encounter.
- Time Stands Still: Al-Hakem and a few other powerful supernatural creatures pause time upon their appearance either to communicate with someone in private or to start one-on-one combat.