I can't judge YA because it's so not my kind of book, but I liked Railsea much more than I thought I would.
The premise is funny - Moby Dick only with giant moles instead of whales, ha-ha, to use Mièville's way of putting it - but in the context of the book is taken seriously and somehow it manages to work. Even if it's intended for younger readers it still is a typically Mièvillian book, from the characters to the setting (evocative and marvellous as usual) right down to the ending, which made me smile and think, you just can't be conventional, can you? And the answer is no, Mièville will never be, and that's a good thing.
A light read, nothing like his adult books, but a fun ride nonetheless. A good YA, without all the typical clichès you'd expect from the genre.