There is a movement, or at least I've heard it said, the YA has to be non-stop, pacey, because its for the teen market. There is some truth in this, and 'Variant' by Robison Wells is a good example of that. Apart from periods of slightly over-repeated internal angst by the main character, the pace is pretty relentless. The guy cant even pause for a snog without getting smashed by a pipe-wielding maniac.
But just what is 'pace'. Does pace equate to action? I don't believe it does. I just finished 'Forbidden', the second book in the Demon Trappers trilogy, by Jana Oliver. Now, this is the second book of the trilogy, so I was prepared to accept a little 'part 2 slump' ( and if you don't know what I mean, think about 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Matrix: Reloaded') and it was not, frankly, as good as the first book.
But it was still a damned good read. The action was more spread out, and there was a lot of 'positioning' for the third book, but it was still thoughtful and engaging, and to me that's what is important. So long as what is going on is relevant, and still moves the story forward, that's fine. There are no infodumps, no passages that are boring, so in my opinion Jana Oliver has done a dmaned good job again. The last half dozen chapters led up to an unexpected climax and a superb end-twist in the last few paragraphs.
Excellent job, and I'm really looking forward to the last book. 4 stars on Goodreads