Which Carlos Ruiz Zafon novel is better?

In my creative writing class, I have the students choose novels to read from a handful of my favorites. My process in choosing the books was pretty subjective and selfish. I made a list of my favorite books, then chose the ones that I find to be the best examples of good writing, for different reasons. The students read these novels and then break into roles, some examining word choice, some syntax, some plot, some character, some setting, etc., then report on what the book has taught them about being a writer.

One of the books on the list is Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind. I love Zafon's rich, vibrant prose and descriptions of setting most of all, but the guy can certainly tell a great story. Because I teach high school, and in a relatively conservative community, I didn't choose Zafon's next novel, the prequel to The Shadows of the Wind, called The Angel's Game. In a way it would be a far more appropriate book for a creative writing class. While Shadow is all about being a reader and lover of books, Angel's is about being a writer. Unfortunately, it's also about how being a writer can be a kind of torture that can drive you to madness and murder, and if that weren't enough to raise the hackles of some parents, the protagonist may or may not have made a deal with the devil himself. Still, as I sit here and think about it, it might be the better book. I'm interested to know, from folks who've read both, which is the better of the two in your opinion? You can vote in a simple poll below, but I'd also like to hear some explanation in the comments. Of course, it's likely that no one who comes across this page will have read both books, but if you can't vote here, take that as a sign that you have one or two books to run out and buy. Zafon is a master craftsmen at the very least, so get yourself a copy of each of these novels and give the pair to some friends at Christmas, too. They will thank you profusely.