This book truely is what it claims to be: A kickstart! It moves fast and may give people who are not familiar with Visual Studio .NET a hard time keeping up. But this is what I really liked about this book! You want to learn how to program? Find a different book! You want to get into DirectX development? Look no further!
Just the first chapter explains more than practically any other book about Managed DirectX I have read. Sure, it doesn't have all the long and ellaborate explanations some of the other books have. But for some reason, I still felt like a had a better understanding of how to do things the 'right way' after reading this book. This may have to do with the fact that the author of the book is also the author of the API.
The book covers a lot of ground. Most of the chapters deal with Direct3D (which is what I was interested in), although the author does touch on other subjects such as DirectInput. The pace is fast and the author covers the whole range from primitive drawing techniques to using higher level concepts, such as meshes, and eve the HLSL (high level shader language), which many would consider an advanced topic. Well, I do anyway... ;-)
The book doesn't just provide shallow introductions. In fact, the author doesn't even shy away from topics such as skeletal anomation of meshes, or writing pixel and vertex shaders to create specular highlights and per-pixel lighting effects.
Well done! This book will explain a lot, and it does so quickly. However, if you have no experience with 3d graphics at all, you may want to follow up with another book, such as 'Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DX9' by Frank D. Luna, which will give you a good understanding of related topics, such as a lot of the underlying math used for matrix transformation and vector mechanics. This can be done as a second step though, since this book does not require knowledge of these things, as it uses functions provided by the Managed API for practically everything it does.
As we are starting do work more with 3d graphics as a company, I have a need to get team members up to speed on the subject matter. This is the book I recommended they all read...