This book worries me, not in itself but because it appears to be part of, what to my mind is, an ill-conceived series. I am not sure how many books Wiley intends to produce on 'Mastering 3D Graphics' but I think the series is wrongly structured.
Take this book as an example. It covers a very specialist domain (Digital Botany and Creepy Insects) by looking at the way these two tasks can be handled with five professional packages - LightWave, 3D Studio MAX, trueSpace, Strata StudioPro and PhotoShop. The more knowledgeable reader will realise that those packages actually do rather different things, and they will also recognise that we are talking about big bucks. It is very unlikely that many readers will have the tools to work through all aspects of this book. Actually the author lists seven other programs in the introduction. I do not think that you will need all of them and some are freeware. Even so you will need to spend a four figure sum of money to get much from this book. The author lists hobbyists among those that can benefit from reading his work. Maybe computer dilettantes would be a better description.
I would strongly suggest that Wiley go away and think again. Cover more topics in a single volume and have volumes developed for specific tool sets. It would be nice to have a version working with only free and cheap tools as well as two or more versions aimed at professionals.
Properly designed such books could be useful to programmers who need 3D graphics to support their products but as currently implemented I think most of you would just be profoundly irritated. In effect you would be limited to window shopping or perhaps tempted to see if you can 'borrow' the requisite software.