If I had the choice, I'd give this book 3.5 stars. This book is full of useful material, and the exercises you are supposed to perform are generally relevant and useful for preparing for the exam.
Every objective in the exam is technically covered, but the book does not include some of material that is covered on the test. This is not entirely the book's fault, as some of the test questions bordered on obscure. Still, 85%-90% of the actual test material is covered somewhere in the book. If you read the book carefully and slowly, there is a good chance you will pass the exam.
Unfortunately, the problem with this book is NOT detail. This book was extremely dry and was it wasn't very fluid. The material simply did not "flow" as you were reading it, and the sections were very disjointed... If you look at my review history, you'll see that I've read quite of few technical books that others would consider "dry"... but this one takes the cake (just edging out the ISC's CISSP book).
I also managed to read Sybex's 70-291 book, and also viewed CBT nugget's training video. Sybex's book was more geared toward the fundamentals, and lacked some of the details found in this book. The Sybex book is perfect for starting from the ground up, was fluid and explained itself very well. It was much more pleasant to read than this MS self paced training kit. The Sybex book would be the better book for a beginner, while this book would be better for a seasoned MS Administrator.
CBT nuggets was an excellent resource as well. It covered a lot of those little details that are hard to pick up through reading, or that might not be obvious until you perform the actions in a lab environment.
About the exam:
The MS exams are less straightforward (more tricky) than other exams that I've taken. I hear people often complain that they narrow it down to "two possible answers", and have trouble choosing between the two. If you encounter this problem, you aren't reading the question carefully enough. Almost every question like this that I saw had a small detail that would eliminate all but one answer. Not one question had two "correct" answers.
The questions are also a bit more wordy than other exams, so if you aren't the most patient person you may have some trouble. Once again, its important that you look over the details.
While I can't violate the NDA, I can say that a good portion of the questions fell within the core of the objectives. Most were very routine questions that involve average day to day tasks for an Administrator. About 5%-10% of the questions, however, were only LOOSELY related to the core objectives. For instance, the disaster recovery objective could extend to any service in the active directory. Do you know how to backup/replicate/transfer data from ALL the services that are integrated into active directory? Probably not. I was very lucky to have seen these things before, but they were so obscure I doubt most people have even seen them (let alone know how they work).
Also, I have a feeling most people will be unprepared for the automation objections. No one really uses them. Just a wake up call to all of you, they are on the test (its in the objectives!). If you don't know exactly what these automation tools do, you are going to have a hard time. Do you know the format differences, and do you know the functionality differences of LFIDE vs CSVDE vs AD Users and Computers? These tools aren't very automated, so no one really uses them (Much easier to use user data to produce dsadd or dsmod scripts). Learn how to use them.
I would definitely set up a lab, or use CBT training videos. Reading alone isn't going to be enough, especially for the simulations.
Finally, you NEED practice questions for this test. Its coverage is far too broad, and you need to make sure you have all areas of the objectives down pat. Its easy to have some wrong ideas about permissions, and/or group scopes and not realize it until you are tested. If you have a problem like this (especially in these areas), you aren't going to do well.