I would argue that "Nature of Code" has nothing much to do with "Programming" more than it has to with simulation. Maths ans Physics enthusiasts will find a LOT of use in it, as well as people trying to understand things like Cellular Automata and Genetic Algorithms - but not "learning to code". When you pick up a language book, you want to know how the language handles memory, where the data structures are, and what happens when you flick this switch as opposed to that one. Language books are manuals with fancy narrative. Nature of Code is not a language book.
That "C++ like syntax" may be known better as Java.