The author, an expert in the field, publishes his first introductory book on TSQL, and although the title 'T-SQL Fundamentals' is representative of the content, the use of the book for a college textbook leaves room for improvement. I used this book for a 3-hr IT credit course this semester at a local community college...the book does have good information. The problems are in that 1) the order of introduction is not optimal, 2) the explanations via pictorials or diagrams for a pure beginner are lacking, and 3) the example code could be better.
First off, to address the order, he introduces right away in chapter 1 and chapter two concepts that I would not introduce until much later for a beginning TSQL class. Foreign Key relationships and Windowing functions are not beginning concepts, for instance, and thus should be introduced much later in the book in my opinion. Cross Joins are the first join type introduced in Chapter 2; this is a 'special' type of join used to create data or build lists, and is not used that often in the business world. A much better replacement might be the SELECT INTO, which is introduced way in the back of the book in a later chapter. There are other examples-my point is that for the beginner, the order here needs to be looked at more closely. It doesn't make sense a lot of the time.
Second, explanations and the use of drawings, pictures, or diagrams are lacking or non-existent. As an example, when I teach joins, I draw pictures on a whiteboard with minimal data to introduce concepts in a clear and concise manner; he has none of these. Many of the examples don't allow a student the opportunity to let the concepts 'hit home' because other ideas are introduced at the same time. Building from 'small to large', as it were, is for me a great method to use when explaining difficult concepts, but he does not use this methodology in the book.
Examples could be better. Right away I found that the examples in the chapter are not abundant, while the exercises are too far away from the examples, difficulty-wise. One reason is that his "TSQL2012" database could be better. I would use the AdventureWorks databases, which offer the ability to create more examples and questions at all levels of difficulties.
I could go on with more, but I think you get the idea of what I am trying to relay here...it's a good book, but I've seen better. As far as a book for someone who has never opened SSMS, or programmed and has no idea of the programming constructs, it leaves room for improvement as either a high school or jr. college textbook.
I base this review on my 13 years experience as an instructor at the jr. college level, so at this point I think I have a pretty good idea of how students handle TSQL concepts and the order of assimilation of these concepts. Using this book I find that I bounce around quite a bit, and leave many concepts out altogether. Do not walk away here with idea here that I'm flaming the book or the author, but rather critiquing the book based on how I am using the contents of the book. To me, it is evident that his first try at a beginner book has some fundamental flaws in a number of areas.
Maybe I'll write my own book one day...