Knowles signs dystopian deals for RHCB

Random House Children's Books commissioning editor Ruth Knowles has bought four debut dystopian novels to be published in 2012 and 2013.

Knowles snapped up UK and Commonwealth rights to Starters by American screenwriter Lissa Price, acquiring the rights from Heather Shapiro at Baror International. It will launch globally alongside Random House US in April 2012. The book is described as an "action-packed thriller set in a world where eternal youthfulness can be had [but] at a price".

The editor also acquired UK and Commonwealth rights in Struck by Jenifer Bosworth from Alex Webb of the Rights People, acting on behalf of FSG, with plans to publish in July 2012. The story follows Mia Price as her city is devastated by an earthquake and she finds herself in a power struggle between two cults.

Knowles also bought UK and Commonwealth rights to The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna, signing the deal with Sarah Malloy of A M Heath on behalf of the Elizabeth Kaplan agency. The book, which RHCB plans to publish in early 2013, centres around Eva who has no true identity and is torn between two worlds.

Finally, RHCB bought world rights to ACID, written by children's librarian Emma Pass, through Carolyn Whitaker of London Independent Books, with the novel set to be published early 2013. It is set 100 years in the future in a Big Brother-style society, with Britain now under the control of a terrifying police force known as ACID.

Knowles said: "Dystopian fiction is a much-talked about genre, particularly with the release of The Hunger Games movie next spring. We have acquired some fantastic futuristic thrillers that we know will appeal to this audience, and are confident that RHCB will have some of the most exciting novels in the genre. The worlds within them are very different from each other, but all completely hook you in from the first page and do not let go."