Re: Recommendations for boy just discovering not all YA is equally enthralling.
Garth Nix has written a couple of good ones, but better would be:
Philip Reeve (boys tend to love his books)
Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'
Patrick Wood (Viaduct Child)
Herbie Brennan - if he likes mad Faery stuff
and get him all four Nick Gifford books! They're great.