Most reviews of this book are positive, so I went ahead and bought it, ignoring the first review, which is negative. After receiving and reading this book, I *completely* agree with what that first reviewer had to say! Go back and read it before you buy this book; it is very accurate.
The descriptions of the ascendents read just like descriptions for sun signs. Because the author assumes your chart will use an equal house system, all of the the descriptions of the houses for each ascendent are inaccurate if your chart uses another house system, like mine does. If your chart uses an equal house system, you may find some use for this book. Otherwise, don't waste your money.
This is the most thorough book on the subject of one's Ascendent I have ever found. If a skeptic who's simply read one's sun sign description and thought, "that's not me" read this book, they would have to question their skepticism!
Jeanne Avery takes each ascendent through all 12 houses, so we get a thorough picture of how it influences us in all aspects of our life. This is much more fine-tuned and expansive than just the sun sign! Additionally, she uses an ego-centered psychology paradigm (the name of it escapes me at the moment, sorry!) to explain how the ascendent affects our egos. For instance, some houses speak to our adult ego state, while others represent the inner child. She also includes not only the sign on the cusp of the house, but tells you how this sign affects you more particularly based on where the planet it rules is in your natal chart. This is one of the few astrology books that I have read that made me say yes, that's me, and now I know what I have to work on so that these issues affect me constructively and positively, rather than holding me back.
It is best to read this book with your natal chart already completed. The quick-and-easy guide to your ascendent is as accurate as this kind of guide can be (which is shaky at best), but it's more reassuring to come to the book with this information already at hand. Plus you'll want to know where your planets are house wise, to get the full benefit of Avery's information.