I'm a final year computer science student who is doing a final project using DirectX 9.0 to devlop a simple game engine. This book was the best introduction to DirectX 9.0 I could find. It covers in dertail how the rendering is done and then shows you how to get DirectX to do it for you. I really like the fact that the author shows you how to do all of the vector and matrix maths behind the scenes before telling you that you don't have to worry as it's mostly done for you. Another amazing feature is he shows you how to set up the DirectX library files to use in Visual Studio 6.0 and .net I'm looking for a further book on the animation side as that wasn't covered as fully as I would have liked although there is a huge section on quake .md3 files. I'm using .x files and these weren't covered in as much depth. I'm refuring to the second edition and I haven't seen the first edition. Apparently there were many errors in the 1st edition.
I'm not really a fan of any of the books in this series, and I think this one will just confuse beginners as it confused me. There are only a few, basic sample programs, far inferior to the sorts of tutorials you see on the web. The source is all printed out in the book, though, which pads it out quite a bit. Andre really isn't very good at explaining certain concepts, and several times his way of describing things planted incorrect beliefs in my mind - you really need to be programming and reading the book at the same time for it to fully make sense. Some people might argue that this is the case with all programming books. But I'd say that many books I've read make perfect sense without having to be near a keyboard, and cover much more breadth and depth than this book.