NetGalley offered me a pre-publication copy of The Mission in exchange for an unbiased review. So:

I have been a legislative committee staffer. My spouse is a budgeteer for a government agency. The idea that I would read -- for pleasure! -- a book involving bureaucracy... committee hearings and budget meetings, office politics and "real" politics, would have seemed laughable. But here we are!

The Mission reveals the spirited "our project's dead/nope, back on again" struggle to launch a scientific mission to Jupiter's moon Europa, including pocket biographies of many of the researchers (and politicians) involved. Through shifting presidencies, priorities, and personalities, the Europa project's boosters fight to see it through. Will it lift?


It's written in the "creative nonfiction" style, of which I am not always a fan. Off the top of my head I can think of two books that I put down almost immediately, because the "creative" part of the C-N equation was off-the-rails, turning conference room meetings into Michael Bay movie explosions. I don't need that much emoting done for me. Tell me what's happening and I'll do the feelings-having. In any event, The Mission mostly avoids the over-the-top stuff. For people who think they'd like this sort of thing -- recommended.