Inhibitor Phase by Alastair Reynolds
Miguel de Ruyter is a man with a past.
Fleeing the ‘wolves’ – the xenocidal alien machines known as Inhibitors – he has protected his family and community from attack for forty years, sheltering in the caves of an airless, battered world called Michaelmas. The slightest hint of human activity could draw the wolves to their home, to destroy everything … utterly. Which is how Miguel finds himself on a one-way mission with his own destructive mandate: to eliminate a passing ship, before it can bring unwanted attention down on them.
Only something goes wrong.
There’s a lone survivor.
And she knows far more about Miguel than she’s letting on…
Ranging from the depths of space to the deeps of Pattern Juggler waters, from nervous, isolated communities to the ruins of empire, this is a stealthy space opera from an author at the top of his game.