Title: Pro ASP.NET MVC 5

Author(s): Adam Freeman
Published Year: 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4302-6529-0
Publisher: Apress
Publisher Book URL:
Pages: 832

About Review:

Review Date: August 2014
Reviewer’s Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewer’s Name: Jason N. Haffey

Another reviewer pointed out that there are two types of book authors out there, those who use a technology on a daily basis and are able to write books with developers in mind and those who are basically writing a ‘manual’ on all the features available within a technology.  This book is very much the former.

The book can be broken down into two parts.  The first (half) gives you a high level overview of MVC with a real world example.  As you work your way through this example you may find parts to be repetitive but I found this to be very useful in sealing the concepts into my brain and muscle memory.  The second (half) go back over most of the topics you learned in the first (half) but takes in deep into each of the topics.

With regards to the first part of the book, I found the example that he builds to be very useful.  This was my first real exposure to MVC and I was able to follow along without issue.  There were a few times when I was not really sure why I was doing things but as I continued down the rabbit hole they became clearer.  I flew through this part of the book rather quickly as I wanted to see the how each new part worked with the previous parts or just worked in general.

With regards to the second part of the book, I will admit I struggled to get through most of it.  As I said, the author started to break down each feature and go way in-depth of it piece respectively.  The biggest issue I had with this was he would start each chapter (minus the last few) by showing you how you can basically create the feature from scratch (this would usually be half the chapter) then would tell you that you should rarely, if ever, do this.  Think of it this way, someone shows you how something works and how to build it yourself and then tells you but don’t do it.  I understand the concept of learning how things work but I feel he could have summed it up and now put me to sleep.  The second half of each chapter then would show you how to customize the features but still utilizing the default version.  This I found more useful than knowing how to build a feature from scratch.

I said minus the last few chapters because he changed the chapter structure.  He started showing customization of the default version first then would show how to build your own version.

I also found it very annoying that within every chapter, usually multiple times, the author would mention something without going in-depth to it.  I understood that some of the topics mentioned are in their own right, they own book.  The problem I had was he would tell you to buy his ‘other book’ which covered said topic.  At first this was not a big deal but when the author has told you to buy his book multiple times in the same chapter, it does start to get annoying.  In the end, his tactic did work as I have also picked up another one of his books, Pro ASP.NET MVC 5 Platform for a very specific reason.  This book does NOT cover Windows Identity Foundation.  He does mention this in this book and is kind enough to offer the 3 chapters that cover WIF (from Pro ASP.NET MVC 5 Platform) for free on the Apress website.  The other issue I had with him ‘selling’ his other books is he makes references to another one of his books, Pro ASP.NET MVC 5 Client, which is not due to be released until March of 2015 yet he says it was published in 2014.

One other thing I would recommend is the author insists that you use very specific version of NuGet items.  I found this very annoying so I would get the latest versions of anything he requested in the project examples, and they worked just fine.

Overall I would highly recommend this book as the author does know what he is talking about.  You really do not need to have any prior experience with MVC but knowing a bit about HTML, JavaScript, and C# would be advisable.