I loved New Blood. The recaps were fantastic and I thought that Matt has done a fantastic job capturing Buck's voice and personality. I liked that we get both past and present events that flesh out his journey both physically and emotionally and well, personally (being his relationship with Veronica) and the Palmer guest spot. Being that I haven't particularly cared for the way she has been depicted in Escalation I felt that Matt has done a better job giving her a different attitude (but then again Halsey isn't around so that could just be a fluke) I liked getting to see *spoiler* Buck go through the Spartan augmentation process - although I wish we'd gotten a more in depth feel into what he was feeling aside from just basic noting of what we already know it does to their (the Spartans) bodies during the process itself. (Which we know from the books if you've been reading them) For those that know ODST already the recap of what took place is a little repetitive since (game players) will already know what happened even with the added look into what was going through Bucks head at the time newcomers will be able to enjoy the journey all the way up to the reunion with Johnson.
Side note: its just speculation but by appearances and comparison - using the cover art as an example, for those that know Halo 2 Anniversary we all know that Locke is pursing Masterchief (supposedly for going AWOL or for what he did to kill the Didact - as depicted in Escalation) since we know that Buck continues on - it appears in H2A during Locke's discussion with Arbiter we see Buck in the background.
Could he be with Locke in the search for Masterchief? It could just be someone else with similar armor however it does look eerily like the one on the cover of this book depicting Buck himself. Again could just be speculation but it is interesting and would be great to see him in action in 5.
*Spoiler* I was bummed that we lost Rookie because I felt there could have been so much more done with him to give fans a Masterchief type hero, unfortunately that wish is cut short however there is plenty to enjoy throughout the book and I felt it was a great reunion for fans of Buck and his unit and I look forward to seeing what Matt comes up with (if he comes up with) further installments. There were a few things that I had issues with but over all I thought that new blood was a great book.