This year, the first book in a series Word Nerd Reading Award is a tie. (Read: Word Nerd can't make up her mind, so winners all around!)
The tie is between, interestingly enough, two books that Word Nerd read back-to-back in January: Mister Monday by Garth Nix and Ill Wind by Rachel Caine.
Mister Monday is the first book of Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series. It may be juvenile or YA literature, but Nix is so creative. His protagonist, Arthur Penhaligon, is supposed to die. Instead, he inherits a magical key and suddenly is launched into saving the world by journeying inside the House where he has to fight imaginative creatures like Fetchers and Nithlings.
Ill Wind is the first in Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series. It's a great blend of fantasy and chick lit. In the book, Joanne Baldwin, is a weather warden, a group of people who can control the weather with the help of djinn. But she's currently running for her life and trying to find the most powerful warden -- also on the outs with the rest of the wardens -- for help.
Word Nerd's read the rest of Caine' Weather Warden series (the five books that are out so far) and the next two by Nix (Grim Tuesday and Drowned Wednesday).
Winners all around.